Jane Hardisty retired in 2018 after 43 years with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). She served in several positions with the last being the Indiana State Conservationist for 17 years. As State Conservationist, Jane oversaw technical assistance and programs that protected the environment and conserved natural resources through voluntary, private working lands conservation.
Because of her expertise in policy development and implementation, Jane served on numerous special assignments and advisory councils, which resulted in positive national impacts. As the first female soil conservationist in Indiana, Jane paved the way for women seeking a career in agriculture and conservation at the state and national levels. Because of Jane’s leadership and vision, Indiana is recognized as a national leader and role model for effective conservation partnership, seamlessly working together to deliver state of the art and direct technical assistance to private landowners.
Jane played a key role in working with NRCS agronomists, soil scientists, communicators, and other specialists to bring about a renewed recognition of soil as a living and life-giving natural resource that must be cared for. That effort exploded as more and more farmers, agricultural businesses, and conservation groups began to tout the many benefits of soil health management systems. It’s no surprise that this simple yet profound change in philosophy continues to ripple across the country and beyond as more and more farmers are unlocking the secrets in the soil. This renewed focus on soil health has led to a reinvigoration of conservation planning by NRCS and its conservation partners who provide direct assistance to private landowners.
Jane is a graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Natural Resources, Geography and Biology. Because of her dedicated public service Jane has received numerous state and national honors and awards over the years, including several Ball State Distinguished Alumni Awards.
Jane grew up on a livestock and grain farm and currently lives on the family farm in Hancock County, Indiana. She is taking well deserved time to catch up on family, community involvement, traveling, yard and garden work, and involvement on the farm.