A Brief History about Indiana’s Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative
CCSI was launched in 2009 with funding from the USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Indiana State Soil Conservation Board. Two project coordinators, Hans Kok and Dan Towery, were hired and an Oversight Committee was established. The Indiana Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts (IASWCD) administers the Initiative. In mid-2012, IASWCD received grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant program that will fund it for the next three years. Find more information on the program funded by this grant, called “Conservation Cropping Systems for Soil Health and Productivity.”
Accomplishments to Date
- Established mentoring program
- Over 250 field days/workshops/events reaching over 15,000 people
- Over 250 producers have been assisted with one-on-one support
- 16 mentors evaluated and trained; worked with 30 producers in first year
- 5 workshops for agency staff reaching over 190 employees
- 8 private providers attending high level trainings; 52 industry staff from one event
- Promoting top farmers via website, videos, etc.
- Assisting with Indiana On-Farm Network program
- In 2012, Indiana led the nation on acres of cover crops planted. The Natural Resources Conservation Service estimates that close to 1 million acres of Indiana’s 12 million acres of cropland had one or more cover crops on them.