SWCD has much to celebrate at annual meeting


The Montgomery County Soil & Water Conservation District held its annual meeting Monday at Stone Creek Lodge in Crawfordsville. The district had many notable achievements in 2023 and much to celebrate with local landowners.

Cain’s Homelike Farms was named the 2023 Indiana Conservation Farmer of the Year by the Indiana Association of Soil & Water Districts at the state conference last fall. The farm also reached a milestone, achieving 25 years of Fourth Grade Field Days. The field days have educated thousands of Montgomery County youth about land and water conservation.

Kenny Cain of Cain’s Homelike Farms is the area’s state soil representative. He introduced Indiana State Rep. Beau Baird and Indiana State Sen. Brian Buchanan. Cain pointed out the positive impacts made by our state legislation in funding conservation programs.

Jarrod and Crystal Zachary of Cornerstone Farms and Livestock received the Montgomery County Conservationist of the Year award. The award was presented to Jarrod Zachary by Dave Stanley, district conservationist. Stanley noted special efforts on the Cornerstone Farms in nitrogen management, drainage, cover cropping and heavy area use protection zones.

The local district was also recognized in 2023 by the state association, winning a District Showcase Award. The Montgomery County district was chosen for its work with the Clean Water Indiana grant, which provided funds for a program coordinator. Sam Lovold accepted the coordinator’s position in April.

Additional accomplishments for the SWCD included the removal of invasive pear trees in Crawfordsville, invasive species clearing of three hundred yards along both sides of the Sugar Creek Trail, growth and development of Urban Soil Health’s Community Growers and continued partnership with surrounding counties for Women 4 the Land Learning Circles.

The keynote speaker for the evening was Stephanie Frischie of the Xerces Society. Frischie’s topic was Soil Life: Invertebrate Animals and Their Role in Soil Health.

The business portion of the meeting accepted the 2023 meeting minutes and financial report. Daniel Bullerdick ran unopposed for his board seat. Joyce Grimble administered the oath of office to reinstate him for the elected term.