The Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative (CCSI) is a program of the Indiana Conservation Partnership. Through a Farmer-focused and Farmer-driven process, the program works with Local Level Partnerships and others to promote the adoption of practices and cropping systems that can lead to improved soil health.
CCSI’s has roots in the former Conservation Tillage Initiative, which promoted no-till across Indiana. From 2007-2009, Members of the Natural Resources Policy Committee of the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (IASWCD) formulated and passed a resolution committing the IASWCD to “support the scientific advancement, adoption and implementation of full time, continuous no-till/strip-till on all working lands of this state.” In 2009, an Oversight Committee was established and the Conservation Tillage Initiative was expanded to promote a systems approach to soil health and dubbed CCSI.
CCSI continues to promote adoption of science-based, farmer-proven practices through grassroots leadership. Current goals and priorities are available in the 2017 CCSI Strategic Plan.
A Memorandum of Understanding between the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (IASWCD), the United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), the Indiana State Department of Agrigulture (ISDA), the Indiana State Soil Conservation Board (SSCB), and Purdue University Extension Service provides the framework to jointly carry out the CCSI program.
CCSI is governed by an Oversight Committee, the members of which include two voting representatives of the IASWCD, USDA-NRCS, ISDA, SSCB, and Purdue Extension. Non-voting members include the IASWCD Executive Director and CCSI Director. Affiliate partnering and/or stakeholder organizations may be invited to serve on the Oversight Committee.
Current Oversight Committee Members include:
- Les Zimmerman (IASWCD)
- Ray McCormick (IASWCD)
- Jane Hardisty (USDA-NRCS)
- Shannon Zezula (USDA-NRCS)
- Jordan Seger (ISDA)
- Meg Leader (ISDA)
- Bob Eddleman (SSCB)
- Eileen Kladivko (Purdue Extension)
- Jennifer Boyle-Warner (IASWCD, typically non-voting)
- Lisa Holscher (CCSI, ex-officio, non-voting)