By Joy McClain
In the past the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts stuck with country-type folk to emcee their evening awards banquet, form a local farm broadcaster to a local weatherman personality. This year they turned to Dean Metcalf, producer of the nationally –syndicated morning radio program that emanates from Indianapolis- The Bob and Tom Show. In case you've never heard it, it's not exactly a country songfest or a political talk show.
Ray McCormick, president of IASWCD, lent a hand in presiding over the evening. One of the highlights is always the –president's awards elected by and known only to the president It's usually someone that the president has helped him or her the most during the year. McCormick presented the award to Jane Haridsty, Indiana state conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Another big winner was Roger Wenning, a Decatur County SWCD supervisor. He was recognized as Supervisor of the Year. Indiana Prairie Farmer sponsored the award. Look for more information on him in an upcoming issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer. He has become nationally known for his interest in and knowledge of cover crops. The spoil health concept really took shape last year at a field day hosted at his farm.
Steuben County SWCD produced a video that earned them recognition at the banquet. It was a National Conservation Foundation Award winning project, called "RISE Up to Reduce Your Stormwater, building community rain barrels."Using grants, they partnered with Rehabilitation and Industrial Service Enterprises, INC., (RISE) to build 200 rain barrels for distribution around the urban and lake communities in their area. Rain barrels have caught on all over Indiana as a way to catch and reuse water instead of allowing it to become stormwater than can be a menace.