Purdue Extension to Host New Farmer Program

For Immediate Release       June 5, 2014 

Whether they are families wanting to live off their land, older folks looking for retirement income, or veterans looking for peace and quiet, people around the country are starting their own small farms. Such is the popularity of starting farms with small acreage that Purdue Extension now hosts the annual Small Farms Conference every winter near Danville, IN. Interest in small farms is no different here in Southern Indiana, with people in Clark, Scott, Washington and Floyd Counties all asking how they can start living on the land, too. Extension will help answer those questions with a New Farmer Program at 6:30PM on Monday, June 16. The event will be held in the Food Stand at the Clark Co. 4-H Fairgrounds, 9608 Hwy 62, Charlestown.

“Last year Extension in Scott and Washington counties hosted a new farmer callout that drew 47 people,” said Clark County Extension Educator Dave Hynes. “We want to build on that interest and give the public the information they need to start their own farming journey.”

The evening will touch on topics like business structure, marketing, selecting land and managing the soil, and selecting a production system, among others. Cost to attend is $10 per person, and anyone wanting to know how to start a farming business is welcome to attend. Participants are encouraged to pre-register by calling the Clark Co. Extension office at (812) 256-4591.

If you need more information about the event, contact Extension Educator Dave Hynes at (812) 256-4591 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, prior to the meeting, contact Dave at the office or call (888) EXT-INFO.


Washington County Food Bank

If you're familar with the Feinstein Challenge, you're aware or the benefits Washington County Food Bank receives from this endeavor. Besides the money (over $19,335.22) donated for food purchases, there were food items brought to the food bank valued at over $20,213 in 2013.

The food bank also received a proportionate share of the one million dollars that Mr. Feinstein donates to fight hunger in the United States each year.

Just as the response to the Feinstein Challenge increases each year, so does the number of persons served by the food bank. There were a total of 7113 visits representing 15,953 adults and 8935 children during 2013.

The Food Bank Board hopes this year's challenge response will surpass that oflast year in order for us to continue to fulfill our mission to provide the emergency food and nutritional needs of citizens of Washington County.

Cash, checks and food items received from March 1st to April 30th will apply to the challenge. Monetary pledges can also be made for a longer period of time. Food items will be valued at $1.00 per item for reporting purposes.


Cost-Share for Conservation Available to Mill Creek-Blue River Watershed Landowners

The Mill Creek-Blue River Watershed (MCBR) covers 99,854 acres in the central and south central portion of Washington County. There is approximately 117 miles of creeks in the watershed with water flowing through it and eventually empties into the Ohio River. Water quality and non-point source pollution was a watershed concern and, therefore, a grant was applied for by the Washington County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) to address the concerns.

A watershed management plan (WMP) was developed by a steering committee of local conservation professionals, residents, and landowners. It was approved for MCBR in August 2013 by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). Areas throughout the watershed were determined to be critical for E.coli, high nutrient content, sediment, and more.

The Washington County SWCD was awarded an implementation grant from IDEM to receive $175,000 to provide cost-share to install best management practices (BMPs) in the identified critical areas of MCBR to address water quality concerns to landowners. The program will pay up to 75% of the actual total allowed cost with a $10,000 cap per participant. Reimbursement will follow the installation and approval of the project(s) installed by landowners.

At this time, BMPs available for cost-share through the MCBR project include: access road, animal trails and walkways, composting facility, cover crops, critical area planting, drainage water management, fence, filter strip, forage and biomass planting, grade stabilization, grassed waterway, heavy use protection area, lined waterway, mulching, no-till (equipment modification or pre-emergent chemicals), nutrient management, pipeline, pumping plant, residue management, riparian buffer, roof runoff management, spring development, stream crossing, streambank stabilization, subsurface drainage, tree planting, waste management, waste storage facility, and water facility.

To participate in this project or learn more about the program, please contact Whitney Sauerheber, MCBR Coordinator, at (812) 883-3006 ext. 3, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or set up an appointment with her at the SWCD Office located at 801 Anson Street in Salem. Also, more information about this project, including brochures and cost-share guidelines is available in the office and online at

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Third House Session Public Meeting

The Washington County Chamber of Commerce is joining with the Washington County Farm Bureau to present a Third House Session, on Saturday, March 1, in the Presentation Room of Salem High School. Doors will open at 8:15 am. The presentation will begin at 9 am. Light refreshments will be served prior to the event.

Scheduled to attend: Steve Davisson, State Representative District 73 and Richard Young, Indiana State Senator.

Attorney’s John Mead and Andrew Wright will moderate the session. The public will be allowed to ask questions.

The event is open to the public and free of charge.

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