Decatur County

Soil & Water Conservation District

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The mission of the Decatur County Soil & Water Conservation District is to provide the leadership in promoting and protecting the integrity of Decatur County's soil, water, and other natural resources through technical assistance and education.

About Us

Indiana's 92 counties are legal subdivisions of state government responsible for the protection, conservation, and wise use of the soil, water, and related natural resource with in their boundaries working cooperatively with federal, state, and local agencies and organizations. They address issues such as agricultural conservation, urban conservation, forestry, wildlife, water management and natural resource education. Districts bring educational, technical, and financial assistance to bear on the conservation problems of land owners and users. The efforts and activies of each District are directed by a board of five local-citizen supervisors: Three are elected and two are appointed.

Meet the 2012 SWCD Supervisors


A. Brian Cruser (Chairman): Brian was elected to the Board in 1995. With a strong background in forestry as a private forestry consultant, Brian strengthens the diversity of natural resource concerns addressed by the district. Brian and his wife Susan have two sons, two grandchildren and reside in Marion Township. He holds a BS in Forestry from Purdue Universit, a MBA from Ball State, and a Doctorate in Education. Brian is a forester and owner of ABC Forest Management and teaches Construction Technology at Woodward Career Technical High School in Cincinnati, OH.


Tom Cherry (Vice Chairman): Tom was elected to the board in 2011. He lives and farms in Washington Township operating approximately 50 acres, on which he raises cattle and hay. Tom also works full time for KOVA Fertilizer, as a Precision Ag Technician. Using no-till on his farm and he supports conservation practices to improve soil and water quality. Tom is the current president of the Greensburg Power of the Past and has two children and enjoys spending time with his grandson.


Roger Wenning (Secretary): Roger was elected to the Board in 2006. He currently owns and operates 600 acres in Fugit and Washington Townships and in Franklin County. Roger feels that God gave us soil and we need to keep it where He put it. He has worked with area landowners encouraging conservation practices to benefit land, water, and wildlife now and for the future. In 2006 he was recognized as Conservation Farmer of the Year in Decatur County and in 2007 recognized as Indiana River Friendly Farmer of the Year for Decatur County. Most recently Roger was recognized as the 2011 Indiana Supervisor of the Year, one of the five state Conservation Farmer of Year award winners for 2011 and American Soybean Association Notheast Region Conservation Legacy Award Winner for 2012. He is an active member of the Knights of Columbus and was past Grand Knight. He also owns and operates Wenning Excavating and Drainage. Roger and his wife Mary Beth have four children and four grandchildren.


Pat Grote: Pat was elected to the Board in 2009. He and his wife Patricia live in Marion Township. They have two daughters, Erica attending Purdue and Morgan attending South Decatur. Pat is an Ag Sales Representative for Smith Implements and also farms 300 acres in Marion and Sand Creek townships. He is a past president of the Decatur County Fair Board and was a member for 6 years. Pat enjoys the outdoors, showing livestock with his family, and being involved with 4-H.


Matthew Raver: Matthew was elected to the Board in 2012. He lives in Fugit Township and farms in both Fugit and Salt Creek Townships. He and his family operate approximately 675 acres total of which 300 are tillable acres, 250 acres of woods, and 110 are in CRP. Matthew works full time for Rippe & Kingston in Cincinnati as a Certified Public Accountant. He uses no-till on his farm and supports conservation practices to improve soil and water quality as well as improve wildlife habitat.

Meet the Office Staff:


Jenna Nicholson (District Coordniator): Jenna started with the district in March 2008. She grew up in Decatur County graduating from Noth Decatur High School in 2003. Afterwards, she attended Purdue University, where she received a B.S. in Organizational Leadership & Supervision in 2007. She now resides in Indianapolis with her husband, Ryan. In her spare time, Jenna can be found in digging in the dirt in her flower beds or cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers!!



Scott Sanders (Natural Resource Technician): Scott started with the district in April 2008. He works closely producers to apply Best Management Practices for conservation. A lifelong resident of Decatur County, Scott attended South Decatur and Purdue University. Scott is married to Beth, and they have two children Cody & Layne. They operate a cattle operation and enjoy showing livestock. Other hobbies include tinkering with tractors, muscle cars, and supporting their favorite teams (Colts, Pacers, Reds, Purdue, and anyone playing I.U.)!

Meetings & Events

Board meetings are held the 1st Monday of every month. Click on the calendar to check out other events going on!