|By MICHELE F. MIHALJEVICH
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — In her new role as executive director of the Indiana Assoc. of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Jennifer Boyle will work with local SWCDs on a daily basis.
That’s something she said she’s much looking forward to doing.
“My interest, and my passion, is working with districts and with conservation partnerships,” she said. “These are the things I want to do.”
Boyle started her job June 12.
She had been one of four watershed specialists in the Office of Water Quality of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Prior to that, she had been director of the Johnson County, Ind., SWCD.
Boyle graduated from Purdue University’s College of Agriculture with a degree in forestry and natural resources.
“The mission of the organization is to represent SWCDs as one voice,” she said.
“We are here to assist the leadership of local SWCDs through coordination and education for the wise use and management of our natural resources.”
“Jennifer’s strength lies in her day-to-day experience working and building strong relationships with local SWCDs and the Indiana Conservation Partnership (ICP),” IASWCD president Gene Weaver said in a statement.
“She understands the priorities of SWCDs and the ICP including the implementation of business plans and the ICP strategic plan, funding, leadership development and accountability.”
The ICP is IASWCD, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture Division of Soil Conservation, Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, State Soil Conser-vation Board and the Indiana USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
IASWCD works to fulfill its mission by hosting an annual conference and by providing training and leadership, Boyle said.
The organization also does some lobbying at the state level, she said.
“The next legislative session, we’ll push to continue and increase funding for conservation,” she said. “Not just for the districts, but for agriculture in general to help promote conservation.
“We’re always looking for ways to improve and increase leadership training and development.
“We want to strive to continue to make the association itself a strong partner in conservation efforts,” she said.
The focus on agriculture during the administration of Gov. Mitch Daniels has helped the efforts of IASWCD, Boyle said.
“The governor has said agriculture is important,” she said.
“We didn’t have a state department (of agriculture) before.
“This has brought agriculture to the forefront and has brought conservation to the forefront. It helps put our issues out front.”
This farm news was published in the June 28, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.