Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division of Soil and Water Conservation
The Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (OFSWCD), along with the 88 county Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) work hand-in-hand with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division of Soil and Water Conservation. The Division supports Ohio's Districts through a myriad of programs as well as providing administrative guidance, training, program development support, and financial assistance.
Click here for more information on the Division of Soil and Water Conservation.
USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Services
The Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (OFSWCD) and Ohio's 88 county Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) works alongside of the USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Services, also known as NRCS. The NRCS provides financial and technical assistance to SWCDs and landowners throughout Ohio through federal Farm Bill Programs. The OFSWCD works hand-in-hand with NRCS and the Districts to ensure that federal funding is provided to complete conservation practices under the EQIP (Environmental Qualities Initiative Program), CRP (Conservation Reserve Program), RCPP (Regional Conservation Partnership Program) and the GLRI (Great Lakes Restoration Initiative) programs. The practices are diverse and assist landowners address conservation challenges that impact soil health and water quality.
Learn more about NRCS here.
Ohio Soil & Water Conservation Commission
The Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission was started in 1941 by the General Assembly enacting House Bill 646. The Commission has the responsibility of ensuring Ohio's 88 counties are being served by the soil and water conservation districts. One of the other main functions of the commission is to recommend the level of state funding and allocation to the soil and water conservation districts. The Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts has an appointed member to this commission.
Click here for more information.
National Association of Conservation Districts
The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) is our national organization. According to their website they serve roughly 3,000 local and state conservation districts across the nation in delivering locally-led natural resource conservation.
Find more information here.
Partnerships and Programs
Soil Health and Water Quality
The OFSWCD continues to work collaboratively with the 88 SWCDs, partners ODA and NRCS, and various commodity groups and non-profits in the area of soil health and water quality efforts. The vitality of our soils and the quality of our water directly impact life as we know it. Thus, it is imperative that we educate and promote the wise use of these resources. We are involved in key initiatives that include the promotion of cover crops, grazing and other best conservation management practices that reduce erosion and better protect the soils. In the water quality arena, we are involved in promoting the 4Rs or 4 Rights: Right Time, Right Place, Right Source and Right Rate as it pertains to applying fertilizer. The 4R Tomorrow program grew out of this 4R effort and was designed to educate individuals on the importance of doing the right things in order to improve water quality. The Backyard Conservation Program, created with the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and Scotts-Miracle Gro focuses on mowing and backyard conservation practices designed to improve habitat, soil health and water quality.
Additionally, the OFSWCD was involved in the development of the 4R Certification Program and is a member of the Nutrient Stewardship Council. The OFSWCD is also involved in the Healthy Waters Ohio, the Appalachian Ohio Watershed Alliance, and works closely with various Conservancy Districts to ensure water quality trading initiatives continue to move forward.
Ohio Pollinators Habitat Initiative
The OFSWCD is very involved in Ohio’s effort to improve the health and well-being of pollinators! As a member of the Ohio Pollinators Habitat Initiative, a collaborative group that involves the US Fish and Wildlife Services, Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio State Extension and many others, we recognize the effort to improve pollinator habitat is critical to Ohio’s agriculture industry and our way of life! Ohio’s 88 SWCDs are heavily involved in this program to create and improve pollinator habitat through the collection of milkweed pods and promoting pollinator education through workshops, special events and more!
Urban Partner Links
County Soil and Water Conservation Districts can access the shared resources page here.
The Ohio Stormwater Association focuses on the advancement of stormwater management.
Learn more here.
Soil and Water Conservation Districts are leading and participating in the following regional initiatives:
Central Ohio - Be the Change for Clean Water
Northeast Ohio - Lake Erie Starts Here
Southwest Ohio - Save our Local Waters