Each year, AISWCD recognizes a lawmaker who has shown an understanding as well as a commitment to the principles of soil and water conservation. AISWCD was pleased to present this year’s award to Senator Ram Villivalam. For the past two consecutive years, he served as the lead sponsor of two incredibly important bills that addressed the state’s Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy – both of which AISWCD ardently supported the past two legislative sessions. These were SBs 3462 in 2020 and later SB 2474 in 2021. Each of these bills were titled the Illinois Partners for Nutrient Loss Reduction and aimed to increase funding to the Partners for Conservation Fund in order to implement Illinois’ Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. Senator Villivalam was a devoted champion for these bills, and although they did not pass due to a shortened legislative session due to COVID-19, the primary components were implemented into the state budget that was enacted this summer.