Welcome to the SWCD of Delaware County, Indiana!

Who We Are

The Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is a subdivision of State Government. The district receives its statutory authority from Indiana District Law (Indiana Code IC 14-32-5-1). It is a public body which exercises public powers. 

Along with our regional partners, we assist the citizens of East Central Indiana in the improvement, and wise use of soil, water, and related natural resources.

To that end, the purpose of the 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 educational, technical, and financial assistance to implement conservation practices and technologies. We raise funding in order to administrate and/or implement projects that are responsive to our planning and implementation objectives.

We welcome your engagement and involvement! Learn more about our recent activities and find ways to connect with us as we implement our strategic plan.


The requirements to hold the position of elected supervisor for a Soil and Water Conservation District are stated in Indiana Code 14-32-4-1.

  1. Must be an occupier of a tract of land that is located within the district
  2. Must maintain the individual's permanent residence within the district
  3. Must be qualified by training and experience to perform the duties that this imposes on supervisors.

  1. An individual of voting age or a representative of a firm, company, or corporation that owns or rents land/property located within the district/county may vote.
  2. Eligible individuals also include the owner and tenant of the same land/property as well as any owner's or tenant's spouse.
  3. This year's election will be held at the District's Annual Meeting,

Board of Supervisors

The Delaware County SWCD is governed by five supervisors, three elected and two appointed, each a resident of Delaware County. These supervisors serve three year terms with no maximum of terms served. Supervisors are critical to encouraging conservation practices and activities throughout all of Delaware county. 

Erik Fisher


Elected: 2017-2023

Erik Fisher farms with his father, Jeff, in Delaware and Blackford counties as a 5th generation farmer. They raise corn, soybeans, and seed beans on their no-till operation. Other conversation practices they utilize are cover crops, waterways, and filter strips. He is also a commercial pilot flying charter and private aircraft.

Erik and his wife, Adriene, have served on the Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee serving District 6 and he has been a Delaware Co. Farm Bureau board member.

John Newby


Appointed: 2010-2020

John is a retired AT&T Director/Area Manager with a broad background in operations, event hosting, and technical training for the telecommunications industry. 

As treasurer, John is responsible for project oversight and fund disbursement for SWCD conservation projects. 

John is an accomplished performing musician on saxophone and clarinet and is a 27+ year member of the Atlanta Hall Jazz Band.

John is the manager of a six acre reforestation project at his family farm in western Delaware County.

Jeremy Russell


Elected: 2020-2023

Jeremy Russell farms and raises sheep on the family operation in northern Delaware County. He utilizes no-till, cover crops, variable rate technology, and base fertilizer recommendations from soil tests. 

Jeremy has served on the Delaware County Farm Bureau Board and Luke Messer's Ag Committee for two years, and the Livestock Policy Advisory Committee with Indiana Farm Bureau for three years. 

He graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Economics.

Joe Hamilton


Elected: 2020-2022

Joe Hamilton has been farming full time in southern Delaware County since 2015. His family raises corn and soybeans while focusing on improving soil health through conservation practices. He has transitioned the operation to no-till, implemented cover crops, and has sought other innovative ways to increase output. 

Prior to returning to the family farm, he was an engineer in automotive design and electronics packaging industries and has degrees in mechanical engineering and product development from Purdue, Michigan, and Northwestern.  Joe and his wife, Kristin, have one daughter, Grace.

Del Brinson


Elected: 2021-2024

Del Brinson works as a Precision Agronomist for Advanced Agrilytics. In this role he works closely with his grower customers finding ways to improve overall yields in their operations. He does this by utilizing a combination of unique variable rate prescriptions for fertilizer, seeding, nitrogen, and pest management. 

He graduated from Purdue University in 1999. 

Del and his wife, Jayne, and their two teenaged children live in the Cowan area 

Associate Supervisors

Interested in being an Associate Supervisor??
Call our office at 765-747-5531 ext 3 or just stop in for one of our Board Meetings, scheduled on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 8:30 am

*Please call to confirm meeting times.

Information about the nomination committee 

The nomination committee consists of one current SWCD Supervisor and two concerned citizens formed by Nov. 1 each year.  This committee determines nominees suitable to be supervisors and forwards those names to the Indiana State Soil Board by Dec. 1 for approval.


The staff persons at the Soil and Water Conservation District serve on behalf of the Board of Supervisors in executing goals and objectives of the Delaware County SWCD Strategic Plan. Staff execute these duties in conjunction with other contracted project managers and private companies.

Clair Burt

District Director

Phone: (765) 747-5531 EXT. 3

As the District Director, Clair develops educational programming (and other district outreach activities) and maintains a public resource/library of information and knowledge, both physically (office) and on the web.

Her role also includes many important administrative duties while coordinating Board activities and ensuring compliance with all state-mandated requirements and functions.

Clair also helps oversee subcontracts with project managers to help secure grants, execute short-term terminal projects, and to conduct scientific research studies to aid with decision making and fund allocation processes.

Colby Gray

Project Manager

Phone: (765) 747-5531 EXT. 3

Colby has ten years of experience managing various federally funded watershed planning initiatives in the East Central Indiana region. Some have been turn-key (from start to finish) and some have been short-term/situational when hired specifically to meet deadlines or compliance.

Colby has enjoyed partnering with agricultural producers, engineers, academics, scientists, and regulatory agencies in the execution of watershed goals and water resource regulations.

As a grant writer, Colby has worked with both local conservation groups and the agricultural community, securing funds from a variety of governmental and nongovernmental agencies on their behalf.

More about us...

What are SWCDs? Soil & Water Conservation Quick Facts:

What is a Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)?

By Becky Daugherty, Delaware County SWCD District Administrator 

What is a Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)? - In May 1934, the worst dust storm in US history swept from the Great Plains to the Atlantic Ocean. In April 1935, Congress passed and President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Soil Conservation Act, establishing the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) within the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). (In 1994, the SCS's name was changed to the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)).

The plan was for the Soil Conservation Service to work directly with farmers. However farmers at that time had had little contact with the USDA and were hesitant of federal involvement. Therefore, Congress passed a resolution, which was signed by the President, requesting states to pass laws creating state soil conservation agencies, allowing local soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) to be formed.

Indiana Code 14-32-5 was passed, establishing Indiana's 92 Soil and Water Conservation Districts. There is a SWCD located in every county to help residents to conserve land, water, forests, wildlife, and related natural resources that encompass our state's 23 million acres. Their mission is to coordinate assistance from available sources - public, private, local, state, and federal - in an effort to develop locally driven solutions to natural resource concerns.

Each district has a board comprised of five supervisors - three elected and two appointed - serving three year terms. There is not a limit on terms served. Many districts have any number of associate supervisors. Supervisors and associate supervisors are voluntary positions. District staff may number from one to several. Supervisors and staff work with landowners in the county, cities, and towns in the wise management of our natural resources through conservation practices. 

SWCDs partner with local offices of NRCS and Purdue Extension. Many have developed partnerships with other local parties interested in conservation, such as: 

Delaware County SWCD's mission statement is: 

Some of our recent activities have included: 

Who We Serve

The Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.

2010 District Showcase Award

Desired Outcomes

• Cleaner streams, rivers, ponds, and reservoir
• Healthier, more sustainable soils
• Increased, healthier woodland resources
• Increased, improved wildlife habitat
• Increased pollinator habitat
• Enhanced quality of life for Delaware County citizens
• Heightened awareness and improved management of invasives
• Better informed public

Fisher Governance Award


2020 Delaware County SWCD District Showcase Award, Indiana Association of Conservation Districts
2017 Randolph County SWCD District Showcase Award (Partner), Indiana Association of Conservation Districts
2016 John W. and Janice B. Fisher Governance Award
2011 National Earth Team Volunteer Group Volunteer Award (NRCS-USDA)
2011 Exceptional Commitment to Conservation Award by the Upper White River Watershed Alliance
2011 Robert H. and Esther (Munro) Cooper Conservation Award
2010 Delaware County SWCD District Showcase Award, Indiana Association of Conservation Districts