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Indiana State Department of Agriculture

Indiana State Department of Agriculture

ISDA > Divisions > Soil Conservation > Leadership Institute Leadership Institute

The importance of leadership at the local level has never been greater than it is today. As Districts seek to develop conservation programs that address locally identified soil and water related resource concerns, the success of their programs is dependent upon supervisors who engage county government support and bring together an effective partnership between county, state and federal agencies. Effective Districts must also develop collaborative program efforts with new partners to achieve their conservation goals.

Vital leadership skills can be learned from experience, but these skills become more effective when they are combined with the principles and concepts learned through training programs that join instruction, experiences and reflections on their learning.

The Indiana Conservation Partnership Leadership Institute is a statewide leadership development program established for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors. Key District staff are invited to participate along with their supervisors. The program intends to improve District capacity to increase the quality of Indiana’s soil, water and related natural resources.

Cornerstones of Leadership Brochure

Cornerstones of Leadership PowerPoint Presentation

Contact Us

    Leadership Institute
    c/o ISDA-DSC
    One N. Capitol, Suite 600
    Indianapolis, IN 46204
    Email: LeadershipInstitute@isda.in.gov
    Phone: 317.232.8770  Fax: 317.232.1362

   Contact your District Support Specialist for more information

Our Programs

Cornerstones of Leadership

Description: The Leadership Institute’s premiere program, Cornerstones of Leadership, is a four-part leadership development workshop series tailored specifically to Indiana Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors.


Leadership in Change 
There is an increasing need to prepare supervisors for the leadership challenges they face today and in the future. Equipping supervisors with leadership skills enables them to successfully operate in a rapidly changing environment. Participants in the Leadership Institute’s first Cornerstone, Leadership in Change will gain valuable insight to address this need in the following areas.

  • What is Leadership as it Relates to SWCDs and Change
  • Dealing with Change in Your SWCD
  • Understanding Yourself and Others through the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator
  • Matching your Skills and Abilities with Your Position and Responsibilities
  • How You Can Best Serve Your Organization Communication


Communication As District leaders work with their county government and navigate partnerships between county, state and federal agencies and other partners, strong interpersonal communication skills become critical. Participants in the Leadership Institute’s Cornerstone Communication will explore the following aspects of this vital skill set.

  • Building Relationships with Others
  • Listening to Understand Others
  • Speaking Your Message Clearly
  • Influencing Others


Board Development Effective District Boards must attract and maintain strong local leaders for conservation. Participants in the Leadership Institute’s Cornerstone Board Development will gain the skills to increase their District Board’s effectiveness and success.

  • Understanding Group Dynamics
  • Serving on SWCD Boards and Committees
  • Understanding Group Problem Solving and Decision-making
  • Better Meeting Management
  • Understanding Roles and Responsibilities with SWCD and Partners
  • Supervisor Recruitment and Retention

Board Development will return in 2016.
Topic Agenda 


Impacting Community Successful Districts must utilize all of their leadership skills to impact their communities in order to meet their natural resource goals. As Districts engage their community in meeting natural resource needs, strategic planning and implementation skills become crucial. Participants in the Leadership Institute’s final Cornerstone Impacting Community will develop these skills by focusing on the following areas.

  • Strategic Planning
  • Community Partnership Building
  • Securing Resources
  • Managing a Community Level Project