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School Branch

July was a busy month at the Center. Interest in the School Branch National Water Quality Initiative watershed continues to grow, and we were finalizing plans for instrumentation at the Starkey Farms Edge of Field sites, and working through the logistics of watershed sampling. On July 14th we participated in a tour of the watershed for the Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and his staff; and then on July 22nd we participated in two field tours at Starkey Farms and Little Ireland Farms. The field trips were part of the Soil Health Forum and Conservation Tour, and were organized in conjunction with the Annual Convention of the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD, http://www.nacdnet.org/). The tours focused on measuring the benefits of soil health for water quality and quantity, and the challenges of farming upstream from a public water supply system. The tours were well attended as the picture above shows. Somewhere in the middle of that group of people is Dr. Pierre-Andre Jacinthe, explaining how earlier experiments with the bioswale at Starkey farms are continuing to guide research in the watershed. Following the field tours on the 22nd we attended a meeting of the Hendricks County SWCD to update the members on School Branch watershed projects - with national interest in the efforts at School Branch, communication will be key. As always, please let us know if you have any questions.

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