Check out what we've been up to for the last 50 years! SWCD Video
The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District provides our community with conservation leadership and quality service dedicated to improving and sustaining our natural resources.
The purpose of a Soil and Water Conservation District, or SWCD, is to provide information about soil, water, and related natural resource conservation; identify and prioritize local soil and water resource concerns; and connect land users to sources of education, technical, and financial assistance in order to implement conservation practices and technologies.
As the Dust Bowl raged in the early 1930's, soil scientist Hugh Hammond Bennett brought the serious issue of soil erosion to Congress' attention. The Soil Erosion Service was created in response, however, as seventy-five percent of US land was privately owned, Congress soon realized that buy-in to the program would result from local level programming.
In 1937, the Indiana SWCD Act, IC 14-32, was created to provide local leadership in carrying out soil conservation programs. As county SWCD's were created all over the state, the practices they promoted shifted from improving production capacity, crop rotations, liming, and drainage improvements to runoff reduction, off-site impacts of sediments, and nutrients and pesticides effects on water quality in the 70's and 80's, to federally funded Farm Bill conservation programs, no-till, and cover crop practices.
SWCD's are sub-divisions of state government. Each district is governed by a board of five supervisors. Three supervisors are elected at an annual meeting of land occupiers and two are appointed by the State Soil Conservation Board. All supervisors serve staggered three year terms. As public officials, they subscribe to a standard public oath of office. Supervisors are assisted by local professional staff who are usually county employees.