Brenda Sermersheim Receives Award
Brenda Sermersheim, Chair of the Dubois County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) was named 2019 Supervisor of the Year.
She received the award at the Indiana SWCD Annual Conference Award Banquet at the Indianapolis Marriot Downtown on Tuesday, January 14. The Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts presents the award to honor exemplary Soil and Water Conservation District leaders, “supervisors”, for serviceand leadership in the protection and enhancement of Indiana’s soil and water resources. Indiana Prairie Farmer Magazine sponsors the award; Tom Beckman, Editor, made the presentation.
There are five supervisors in each of the 92 Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Indiana. Sermersheim has served as a Supervisor since 2008, the first and only woman to do so in Dubois County. She has been Chair for the SWCD since 2012. Sermersheim is Vice President, Agriculture and Commercial Banking, for German American Bank.
As an advocate for the SWCD, Sermersheim guides the Supervisors to implement policy and set the goals for the SWCD staff. The SWCD works with landowners in the county to coordinate assistance from many sources and find solutions to conserve land, water, forests, wildlife, and related natural resources. She has been instrumental in working with the Dubois County officials and increasing the Dubois County staff to eight members, and under her leadership, the part-time technical and clerical support positions were upgraded by the county to full time to better serve the area.
Sermersheim was raised on a family farm in Perry County, and currently resides in rural St. Anthony with her husband, Roger Sermersheim. His family adopted conservation practices, including no-till, at least 40 years ago. Both farms are good examples of sound conservation practices, including grassed waterways, water and sediment control basins, and 100% no-till farming practices. When learning of Sermersheim’s selection for this award, Roger Sermersheim said, “Brenda does nothing half way. If she is involved in something, she gives 100% effort.”
Brenda currently serves on the Purdue Extension-Dubois County Agricultural and Natural Resources Advisory Committee, and the Dubois County High School Agricultural Advisory Board, serving the four high school agricultural programs. She is a member of the St. Anthony 800 Club and St. Anthony Catholic Churchand is a former member and president of the Kiwanis Club of Holland, former treasurer for the Dubois County 4-H Council, and formerly on the selection committee for Dubois County Habitat for Humanity. Sermersheim was recognized twice as a Dubois County Athena Leadership Award Finalist.