Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) Showcase
Monday, July 29
10:30 AM – 5:00 PM

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), in conjunction with SWCS, will host the CIG Showcase at the SWCS Annual Conference. Since 2004, CIG has supported the development of innovative natural resource conservation approaches and technologies on working lands.

This year’s showcase includes an overview of the CIG program and three themed panels. The first panel highlights innovated ways to incentivize conservation. The second panel explores CIG projects that address water quality and quantity issues. The final panel includes presentations from CIG grantees demonstrating innovative technologies related to cover crops.

This showcase runs from 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM on Monday, July 29. Following the showcase, CIG project posters will be included in the poster presentation session held in the poster display area of the exhibit hall from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.


Association of Retired Conservation Service Employees (ARCSE) Lunch and Annual Business Meeting
Monday, July 29
11:00 AM – 1:30 PM

The Association of Retired Conservation Service Employees (ARCSE) will hold its annual luncheon on Monday, July 29 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM with the social hour beginning at 11:00 AM. Luncheon speakers will include representatives from ARCSE, SWCS, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) at the state and national level. The 2019 luncheon reservation form will be available by April 15 at


Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART) Showcase 
Tuesday, July 30
10:30 AM – 3:00 PM

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), in conjunction with SWCS, will host the Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART) Showcase at the SWCS Annual Conference. In order to enhance the customer experience in receiving conservation assistance, NRCS is undertaking efforts to modernize and streamline our conservation delivery process. The Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART) is being developed to be a science-based application evaluation and ranking tool that improves the efficiency and effectiveness of delivering field office services. It will assess clients’ resource concerns, planned practices, and site vulnerability as part of the conservation planning process, and will rank client applications for funding. This showcase includes an overview of CART development and current implementation accomplishments. The CART Showcase will be presented in two themed panels. The first panel will provide an overview of the development of CART, how it will help implement the 2018 Farm Bill, accomplishments being implemented, and its support for locally led conservation. The second panel will look deeper “under the hood” of CART and discuss changes to conservation planning; the CART resource assessment for soil and water conservation, as well as other resource concerns; and the transition between program neutral conservation planning and ranking for programs.

  1. Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART) Overview
  • Intro to CART
  • How It Will Help Implement the 2018 Farm Bill
  • Implementation of CART
  • Locally Led Conservation
  1. “Under the Hood”: Technical Aspects of CART
  • Streamlining of the Conservation Planning Process
  • Resource Assessment for Soil and Water Conservation and Other Resource Concerns
  • Transition between Program Neutral Conservation Planning and Application Ranking for Programs

 These two 90-minute panels will run between 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM on Tuesday, July 30.


USDA Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) Watershed Assessment Studies Annual Meeting 
Wednesday, July 31
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Please join USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Agricultural Research Service (ARS) CEAP scientists to learn about and discuss the CEAP Watershed Assessments, the small watershed studies within CEAP. This year’s meeting will follow the general SWCS Conference program. Presentations in the CEAP meeting will feature ongoing ARS CEAP Watershed Assessments, review of the effects of conservation practices that have been measured, and major take-home messages of projects.