MOROCCO — With a background in fisheries management, and experience in conservation farming, Bri Ciara was excited to begin her new career as Director of the Newton County Soil and Water Conservation District (NCSWCD) last week.
Ciara, who grew up in Lake County around the Hobart area, got her degree from Ball State in Fisheries and Aquatic Biology. At the University of Texas at Tyler working on her Masters, Ciara looked at land use and how it affects watersheds.
Before coming to the NCSWCD, Ciara worked for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources doing fisheries research.
In 2015, Ciara would meet her future fiancée’, Cody Styck, a conservation farmer in Newton County.
“I got more involved with his and his family’s farm,” said Ciara. “They taught me a lot, and I took that knowledge from farming and brought it to my work with the DNR. When Rose Morgan informed me that she was leaving this position, I knew it was something that I wanted to do and it was also closer to home now.”
Morgan, who served as the NCSWCD director for more than 12 years, stepped down recently because she and her husband were moving to Arizona.
“I was very close with Rose and she has helped me so much this first week,” added Ciara. “I’m just really excited to be here and to get started. I plan to think strategically about what this county needs and what the farmers here need.”
Early on, Ciara wants to meet as much of the community as possible.
“I want to listen to the people of this community, and let them know my door is always open,” added Ciara. “Don’t be scared by enthusiasm.”
Ciara also plans to update the district’s website and social media soon.
Ciara will get her first chance to meet a lot of the community Thursday, Feb. 20 at the Newton County Soil and Water Conservation District’s 79th annual meeting, which will be held at the Beaver Township Community Building in Morocco.
The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. CST (doors open at 5:30 p.m.), and Mike Davis portraying George Ade will be the guest speaker.