James Barnett is a respected advocate of, agriculture and conservation. His skill, diplomacy and common sense have prevailed when discussing such issues as wetlands and hazardous materials in front of the General Assembly and other groups. He helped develop the "T by 2000" erosion control plan, worked on the cooperative well testing project, and contributed to the 1994 Environmental Laws and Regulations Handbook. He has been unswerving in his support of education and was the driving force behind the Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Speech Contest. He also gave leadership to the Hoosier Chapter of Soil and Water Conservation Society scholarships. He has been an appointed to the Governor's Commission on Water Resources and Water Law, the Governor's Water and Mineral Resources Council, the state drought management plan, the Governor's Technical Committee on Drainage Issues, and the advisory committee to write the Forestry Best Management Handbook. He is also a member of the state wetlands management plan advisory committee. Barnett worked as a member of the Cooperative Extension Service (1955-1974) and then joined the Indiana Farm Bureau as an assistant in Natural Resources. He later took over as departmental director and became an active member of the Indiana Water Resources Assn. He is past president of the Hoosier Chapter of the Soil Conservation Society and a member of the International Soil Conservation Society. He delivered two research papers at Soil and Water Conservation Service national conference and co-authored the Indiana agricultural handbook, "Nitrate and Pesticides in Private Wells of Indiana."