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How We Are Governed and Operated


A Soil and Water Conservation District ("SWCD") is an independent, legal subdivision of state government, funded by state, local and private contributions. SWCD’s are responsible for administering the natural resource management programs for the county in which they are located. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (“NRCS”) serves as a technical advisor to each SWCD as well as sharing resources such as office space, vehicles and equipment. There are 92 conservation districts in Indiana. The St. Joseph County SWCD is a local unit of state government responsible for the conservation and development of our soil, water, and related natural resources through  education, public information, leadership, technical  assistance, and development of innovative programs. The St. Joseph County SWCD was formed in 1959 by a referendum. 


The SWCD is governed by a Board of Supervisors made up of five non-paid St. Joseph County residents.  Three are elected by landowners in the county and two are appointed by the State Soil  Conservation Board, upon recommendation of the local SWCD.  Elected Supervisors are   selected at our Annual Meeting. St. Joseph County also has a number of volunteer Associate Supervisors who complete the Board of the SWCD and are selected to assist the Board, but they do not have voting power.  Associate Supervisors participate in advising the supervisors in the decision-making for district business. The Board of Supervisors oversee district operations and represent the interests of land users in the county.  SWCD office staff are hired by the Board of Supervisors to deliver services, based on local land uses and natural resources concerns. Our office staff includes three St.  Joseph County SWCD employees.  The District is also assisted daily by Partnership Staff from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), with whom we share an office. 


We have seen many changes and growth developments in our natural resource conservation issues over the last fifty years. We continue to assist, teach, and develop programs for our St. Joseph County citizens. The St. Joseph County SWCD strives to provide the best programming available to reach our county's resource requirements. We exist to serve the public and to ensure a healthy and productive environment for future generations.


All of the individuals—Supervisors, Associate Supervisors, Office Staff, and Partnership Staff—share common environmental concerns and are  dedicated to utilizing their time and talents to enhance the resource conservation programs of St. Joseph County.


Monthly board meetings are typically held on the third Tuesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. Refer to our Calendar / Home Page for specific dates, times, and locations. Our monthly board meetings are open to the public and are subject to open door law.  


Visit the Indiana Conservation Partnership Reports website for Indiana Soil & Water Conservation District success stories and local, state and federal funding source breakdown and definitions for each county.


For information on joining our board, contact the District Office at 574-936-2024 ext 4.

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