A PDF of the workshops is available.
The professional development workshops held in conjunction with the SWCS International Annual Conference will be eligible for continuing education credits from various certifying organizations.
Workshop #1: Training to Use Partial Budget Analysis to Estimate Soil Health Economic Outcomes and Data Collection Methods for NTT and COMET Tools
Monday, July 27
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM CT
Instructors: Michelle Perez, American Farmland Trust and Soil Health CIG Project Leader; Florence Swartz, Consultant and Retired USDA NRCS
This training will share methods and materials developed by American Farmland Trust for a 2018 USDA Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) that enables conservationists and farmers to quantify economic, water quality, and climate outcomes of soil health practices. Eight 2-page case studies have been developed using these methods and can be found at https://farmlandinfo.org/publications/soil-health-case-studies/.
The economic methods involve development of an Excel-based partial budget analysis calculator for quantifying the benefits and costs experienced by “already soil health successful farmers,” (i.e., those that had four or more years of economic success with one or more soil health practice). The methods were tailored to analyze California almond production, Midwest corn–soybeans, and New York diversified crop rotations. Note this training will focus on row crop operations rather than almonds. The training will include steps on how to modify the materials for use with slightly different production systems and locations than those the project was initially developed for.
The CIG project used the USDA’s Nutrient Tracking Tool and the USDA’s COMET-Farm Tool to quantify the water quality and climate outcomes of selected fields with implemented soil health practices. To enable conservationists to collect data from farmers ahead of using both tools, an Excel-based questionnaire was developed. The training will include steps to modify the questionnaire for use with similar-enough production systems and new locations. In addition, a technique to analyze the greenhouse gas reduction effect of already adopted soil health practices from COMET results exported to Excel will be shared.
Finally, tips will be shared on how to identify and secure farmers that satisfy the criteria for “already being soil health successful,” and then to write two-page “Soil Health Economic and Environmental Case Studies” to disseminate the results of the economic, water quality, and environmental analyses.
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM CT: Training Overview & Securing “Soil Health Successful Farmers” – Michelle Perez
9:30 AM - 10:00 AM CT: Economic Methods – Florence Swartz
10:00 AM - 10:05 AM CT: Break
10:05 AM - 10:50 AM CT: Economic Methods Continued – Florence Swartz
10:50 AM - 11:10 AM CT: Q&A on Economic Methods
11:10 AM - 11:20 AM CT: Break (Grab Lunch)
11:20 AM - 12:10 PM CT: Environmental Methods – Michelle Perez
12:10 PM - 12:25 PM CT: Q&A on Environmental Methods
12:25 PM – 1:00 PM CT: Writing, Review, & Production + Tips for Doing This Yourself
Workshop #2: Watershed Tools at Your Fingertips
Monday, July 27
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM CT
Instructors: Rob Davis, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources and Houston Engineering; Matt Drewitz, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources and Houston Engineering; Nancy Grudens-Schuck, Iowa State University; Lisa Schulte-Moore, Iowa State University; Neh Batwara, Iowa State University; Linda Shenk, Iowa State University; Kristie Franz, Iowa State University; Bill Gutowski, Iowa State University; Nick Gans, Iowa State University; Arie Sirotiak, Iowa State University
This hands-on, interactive workshop will feature three different watershed tools. The People in Ecosystems/Watershed Integration (PEWI) tool is a simple web-based educational game designed to help people understand the impacts of land use. PEWI is open-source and can be used with students and stakeholders to explore how different land use types and configurations result in tradeoffs in ecosystem service outcomes. The Prioritize, Target, and Measure Application is a desktop and web application tool that translates landscape goals to best management practices. The tool enables practitioners to build prioritized and targeted implementation scenarios, measure cost-effectiveness, and report the results to pursue funds for project implementation. The third tool, Watershed Community, is a computer simulation model to help community groups foster small-scale collaborative conservation projects. Utilizing social science research and storytelling techniques, this tool supports collaborative community building around water-, soil-, and pollinator-related conservation efforts. Join the workshop to experience these unique watershed tools and return to your workspaces, communities and farms equipped with new knowledge and resources.
9:00 AM - 9:10 AM CT: Welcome and Overview
9:10 AM – 9:25 AM CT: Introductions (Breakout Groups)
9:25 AM - 10:20 AM CT: PTMApp Using PTMApp Web
10:20 AM - 11:35 AM CT: PEWI Watershed and Land Use Game Demonstration (Breakout Groups)
11:35 AM – 11:45 AM CT: Break (Grab Lunch)
11:45 AM - 12:55 PM: Watershed Community Demonstration (Breakout Groups)
12:55 PM - 1:00 PM CT: Wrap-Up
Workshop #3: WiNning Strategies for Navigating USAJobs and Building Resumes
Monday, July 27
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM CT
Moderator: Kristie McKinley, USDA NRCS and WiN President
Instructors: Candi Sanders, FPAC-BC, Uretha Bostic, FPAC-BC and WiN South East Regional Representative; Sandi Kreke, USDA NRCS and Past WiN President; Heather Medina Sauceda, USDA NRCS and WiN Executive Vice-President; Jeanne Hamilton, USDA NRCS and WiN Northern Plains Regional Representative
Learn how to successfully apply for your next federal job with expert tips for navigating through USAJobs and creating custom resumes from a Senior Human Resources Specialist with the Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) Business Center and WiN’s Past President. Hiring managers from Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will share best approaches and common mistakes to avoid to help you land your next job.
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM CT: Navigating USA Jobs & Building Resumes – Candi Sanders and Uretha Bostic
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM CT: Resume Writing Tips & Tricks – Sandi Kreke
12:00 PM - 12:30 PM CT: Strategies for Nailing Your Interview - Jeanne Hamilton and Heather Medina Sauceda
12:30 PM - 1:00 PM CT: Questions & Answers/Chat & Open Discussion