Larry Clemens grew up in America’s Farm Belt, where he learned at a young age how the lands and waters connect us and how agriculture touches every part of our lives — a valuable lesson that has served him well since he first joined the Conservancy in 1992.
He joined the organization more than 26 years ago, playing a key role in developing and expanding its freshwater program that began along Fish Creek in Steuben and DeKalb Counties.
Most recently, Larry was the Director of North America’s Agriculture Program. In that role, Larry helped guide the comprehensive approach to agriculture and conservation by
- advancing legislative policy like the farm bill;
- developing partnerships with like-minded NGOs, agencies, universities and businesses; and
- scaling up adoption of practices like cover crops, conservation tillage and nutrient management.
Larry’s goal was to provide farmers a means to meet the growing demand for food production while protecting critical lands and waters for both people and nature. His 20+ years with the Conservancy had more than prepared him for this challenge.
Staying close to his Hoosier roots, Larry first served as the Indiana state program’s Fish Creek Project director and then as the agricultural team lead for the U.S. Central Region. In both these positions, he worked with farmers and other partners in the agriculture community (both in the U.S. and Brazil) to develop strategies for sustainable farming techniques and helping to reduce sedimentation and nutrient runoff in rivers..
Larry chairs the Indiana State Soil Conservation Board, which provides oversight and direction for the Clean Water Program in Indiana.
When he’s not working, Larry enjoys spending time with his wife, Mercedes, and their kids, Christopher and Maria, at home in Angola, Indiana.