Community News Archives for 2019-05

USDA reopens continuous CRP signup

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept applications beginning June 3, 2019, for certain practices under the continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) signup and will offer extensions for expiring CRP contracts. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized CRP, one of the country’s largest conservation programs.


“USDA offers a variety of conservation programs to farmers and ranchers, and the Conservation Reserve Program is an important tool for private lands management,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “CRP allows agricultural producers to set aside land to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, provide habitat for wildlife and boost soil health.”


FSA stopped accepting applications last fall for the continuous CRP signup when 2014 Farm Bill authority expired. Since passage of the 2018 Farm Bill last December, Fordyce said FSA has carefully analyzed the language and determined that a limited signup prioritizing water-quality practices furthers conservation goals and makes sense for producers as FSA works to fully implement the program.


Continuous CRP Signup


This year’s signup will include such practices as grassed waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers, wetland restoration and others. View a full list of practices approved for this program.


Continuous signup enrollment contracts are 10 to 15 years in duration. Soil rental rates will be set at 90 percent of the existing rates. Incentive payments will not be offered for these contracts.


Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program Signup


FSA will also reopen signup for existing Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) agreements. Fact sheets on current CREP agreements are available on this webpage.


Other CRP Signup Options


Fordyce said FSA plans to open a CRP general signup in December 2019 and a CRP Grasslands signup later.



CRP Contract Extensions


A one-year extension will be offered to existing CRP participants who have expiring CRP contracts of 14 years or less. Producers eligible for an extension will receive a letter describing their options.


Alternatively, producers with expiring contracts may have the option to enroll in the Transition Incentives Program, which provides two additional annual rental payments on the condition the land is sold or rented to a beginning farmer or rancher or a member of a socially disadvantaged group.


More Information


On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed into law the 2018 Farm Bill, which provides support, certainty and stability to our nation’s farmers, ranchers and land stewards by enhancing farm support programs, improving crop insurance, maintaining disaster programs and promoting and supporting voluntary conservation. FSA is committed to implementing these changes as quickly and effectively as possible, and today’s updates are part of meeting that goal.


Producers interested in applying for continuous CRP practices, including those under existing CREP agreements, or who need an extension, should contact their USDA service center beginning June 3. To locate your local FSA office, visit More information on CRP can be found at

FUSE announces Sara Cummins to serve as Interim Executive Director

FUSE (Families United for Support and Encouragement) announces new interim executive director in the following release:


As Denise Arland, our founding Executive Director, transitions out of her full time roll with FUSE this month, we are pleased to announce that Sara Cummins will serve as our Interim Executive Director as the FUSE Board continues its search for a full time Executive Director. Sara has been with FUSE since 2015 and has been the Development Director for the past two years, leading the fundraising efforts that allow FUSE to continue our mission. Sara shared, "I love my job as Development Director of FUSE, and that part time role better fits my family life at this time. During this transition, I am honored to take on the role as Interim Executive Director to give our Board of Directors the time it needs to find the right person to lead FUSE into the future and best serve our families."

Sara is the parent of a two young child with rare disorders.  In 2013 Sara reached out to FUSE for resources and referrals to assist her son and family, and her passion for our organization was ignited as she connected with other families for support.  Sara started volunteering for FUSE as a member of the Cruisin’ for FUSE Charity Motorcycle Ride in 2014.  Sara left her career in the retail management industry to join FUSE as our Development Associate in 2015. She moved into the Development Director position in March 2017, drawing upon her skills in sales and marketing to secure funding for our operations.  Sara has served as a parent representative on the First Steps Local Planning and Coordinating Council since 2014. 


Sara is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Shelby County and a 2017 graduate of Indiana’s Partners in Policymaking Academy, an eight month training program of the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities. Governor Holcomb appointed Sara to the Interagency Coordinating Council in 2018. In 2018 Sara became the first Indiana Early Childhood Leadership Parent Cohort with the Early Childhood Personnel Center (ECPC) and Division for Early Childhood (DEC).


She also recently joined the Major Health Partners Family and Consumer Advisory Council.

Sara will have the assistance of our support staff and members of the FUSE Board. Denise Arland will continue to support both programs and administrative needs for FUSE, working 15 hours a week until the new Executive Director transitions into the organization. Courtney Locke is the FUSE Administrative Assistant who brings additional experience and skills to her role to help families. Courtney lives in New Palestine but grew up in Shelby County, where she and Sara attended high school together. Courtney has a young son with autism who was diagnosed in 2015. She began attending FUSE events that year, and joined us as part time staff in 2018. Courtney also works part time as a Direct Support Professional for a waiver service provider. Courtney's previous career included over 10 years in financial services as a loan officer. Courtney graduated from Partners in Policymaking in 2017 and has stayed active with the council as a volunteer. In the past she has also volunteered for events with the Autism Society of Indiana and at Easterseals Crossroads in the Autism Family Resource Center. She was a HOSTS mentor at New Palestine Elementary, helping children learn to read. Currently she serves as moderator for on online ABA parent group,  and she runs a parent group with another mom for her son's ABA therapy center. Courtney will be assisting Sara with parent contacts and taking a lead role in program coordination in the coming weeks.

Sara emphasized, "While Denise may be moving on to a new phase of life, FUSE isn't going anywhere! We will be right here empowering individuals and families, connecting them with resources, and continuing the programs that help our families grow and live their best life." 


For assistance with programs or resources, families and individuals with disabilities can reach Sara at or 317-462-9064. 

As weather warms more motorcycles on the road

The warm weather of spring and summer brings increased motorcycle traffic with Hoosiers out riding for recreation and transportation.


According to ICJI, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, motorcycles are involved in less than 2 percent of crashes in Indiana, but make up nearly 13 percent of all Indiana traffic deaths. Motorcycle crashes – and resulting injuries and deaths – have all declined over the past five years. According to ICJI motorcycle deaths have fluctuated from a low of 100 in 2016, to a high of 147 in 2017 to 112 in 2018. The Indiana State Police offer these safe driving tips so that everyone can share Hoosier highways safely.


Tips for passenger vehicles:


  • Watch attentively for motorcycles. Check blinds spots before changing lanes and look twice at intersections before you turn or pull out into traffic.
  •  Use your turn signals when changing lanes.
  • Anticipate hazards that may confront and affect a motorcyclists like large pot holes, debris, or other hazardous road conditions.
  • Be cautious and observant when turning left. This is a primary cause of most crashes between vehicles and motorcycles, as cars frequently turn left into the path of oncoming motorcycles. Always take a second look for oncoming traffic.
  • Remember, motorcycles are entitled to operate in a full lane.
  • Allow a safe following distance as motorcycles stop quicker than cars.
  • Never Drive Distracted or Impaired

Tips for motorcycle riders:


  • Wear protective equipment and clothing, especially a helmet. Motorcyclists age 18 or younger and those with a motorcycle learner’s permit are required to wear a helmet. Motorcyclists of all ages and abilities are less likely to be killed or injured if they wear helmets.
  • Make yourself visible by wearing bright Hi-Viz clothing, by using reflective tape and by using your motorcycle’s headlight.  Always use turn signals when changing lanes and turning.
  • The top unsafe actions motorcycle operators can avoid are following too closely, unsafe speed, improper passing and disregarding a signal or sign.
  • Look for road hazards, especially potholes.  Be especially cautious around intersections, alleys, driveways, and other areas where an animal, pedestrian, or vehicle might enter your path.
  • Avoid riding in the blind spot of other vehicles.
  • Ride defensively; always leave enough reaction time for unexpected movements from other vehicles.
  • Be cautious in construction zones watching for different pavement heights and drop-offs.
  • Never ride impaired.

One of the best ways to avoid a motorcycle crash is to prepare for and pass the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles motorcycle skills and riding test, or to successfully complete an approved motorcycle safety course. More information is at


Motorcycles are harder to see then other vehicles; consequently, many crashes occur because other motorists don’t see the motorcycle. All motorists should take the time for a second look before pulling into an intersection or making a left turn. It only takes a second to take a second look and maybe save a life. 

Hoosier businesses encouraged to prepare for emergencies now

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) encourages Hoosier businesses to prepare for every possible emergency during Business Continuity Awareness Week, May 13-17.

In recognition of the positive impacts continuity planning has on state resiliency, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, proclaimed May 13-17 as Business Continuity Awareness Week in Indiana. The state’s observance coincides with a national recognition. The week’s theme, “Investing in Resilience,” emphasizes the importance of being able to adapt and respond to an emergency with little to no disruption in daily business functions.

“When disasters occur, many private companies may not have the means to reopen,” said Scott Huffman, state continuity of operations/government planning manager. “It is imperative that organizations create a well-developed Continuity of Operations (COOP) or Business Continuity plan so they can continue to provide their much needed services.”

A Business Continuity or COOP plan provides the framework to help private businesses continue daily operations after an emergency. A well-developed plan is tailor-made for the organization, identifies risks that could disrupt services and provides alternative methods to effectively continue operations.

Business Continuity Awareness Week serves as an opportunity for organizations to review their pre-existing plan, create a plan if one is not already implemented and discuss the importance of following the continuity plan.

Organizations can share how they are participating in the week by using the #bcaw2019 hashtag on social media.

For more information on continuity planning, visit the IDHS website.

Indianapolis to host first ever Made in U.S.A. trade show

INDIANAPOLIS (MAY 6, 2019) MADE IN AMERICA 2019, the first-ever exposition and celebratory event solely focusing on U.S. manufacturing and products made in the USA, will take place at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, October 3-6, 2019. With more than 800 exhibitors and 10,000 attendees expected, this four-day event will bring together the largest-ever network of industrial professionals, keynote speakers and conscious consumers for one common goal: raising awareness for the economic, environmental and community impact of American manufacturing.


"We are so pleased to announce that the inaugural Made in America 2019 show will be held in Indianapolis," said President and CEO Don Buckner, Sr. “After meeting with several venues around the country, we selected the Indianapolis Convention Center for its facilities, which are second to none, and the incredible hospitality by Mayor Hogsett and the team at Visit Indy.”


“As a top convention destination, Indianapolis prides itself on being a city that truly welcomes all,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “We are certain visitors to downtown will find easy access to our thriving cultural institutions and bustling culinary and brewing scene, or perhaps enjoy the changing of the seasons during a walk on the Cultural Trail.   The city of Indianapolis is ready to extend its legendary Hoosier hospitality to thousands of visitors this October for Made in America 2019.”


For this monumental event, more than 450,000 square feet of the Indiana Convention Center has been reserved to showcase American-made machines and products by 800 U.S. manufacturers. While all exhibitors will share a commonality in their U.S.-based productions, the variety of represented product categories and industries will be incredibly vast, ranging from aerospace and automobiles to apparel and textiles. This event will truly be the most comprehensive representation of American manufacturing and production ever in its purest form.


The Made in America Kickoff Show will take place on Thursday, October 3, 2019. This night will include live performances by top-selling American billboard artists and keynote speakers. Friday, October 4, will feature the past, present and future of American manufacturing, with speeches by industry leaders and a celebration honoring U.S. military veterans who helped lay the foundation for American manufacturing. The closing evening event on Saturday, October 5, will be the first annual “Made in America Awards” to honor the American manufacturing tradition and to recognize the accomplishments of American production heroes, the heart and soul of homegrown manufacturing.


To learn more about exhibiting your American-made machines or products at this historic event or to join the movement to keep America on track to be the #1 manufacturer in the world, please visit and follow us on social media at, or


To attend visit


To register as an exhibitor visit


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