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If we are bold in our thinking, courageous in accepting new ideas, and willing to work with instead of against our land, we shall find in conservation farming an avenue to the greatest food production the world has ever known – not only for the war, but for the peace that is to follow.

Hugh Hammond Bennett

HughHammond Bennett

In 1934, a massive dust storm rolled into Washington, DC, from the Great Plains as Hugh Hammond Bennett was talking to Congress.  These “black blizzards” had become a common symbol of the Dust Bowl, and he explained that they were due to decades of unsustainable farming practices that left the soils dry and exposed to the elements.


The result was the passing of the Soil Conservation Act and the Soil Conservation Service was established in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The formation of conservation districts began throughout the US.


In Indiana, Soil & Water Conservation Districts manage and direct natural resource management programs at a local level.

There are 92 districts in Indiana - one representing each county.

A look at the life and impact of the Father of Soil Conservation, Hugh Hammond Bennett, who helped move American agriculture out of the Dust Bowl era.  (Video by USDA)

1960s farmers meeting

On Thursday, April 9, 1959, the St. Joseph County Soil & Water Conservation District was by John R Walsh, Secretary of State of the State of Indiana.

Our services and programs aim to meet the unique resource needs of St. Joseph County, and include improving our soil and water resources, promoting and expanding wildlife and woodland areas, and continuing to provide innovative and quality educational programs to the community.

See our Services page for programs we offer.

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