Presenter sharing a powerpoint presentation with conference attendees during a breakout session

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: LandPKS—Mobile App for Soil Identification, Wildlife Habitat Information, and Soil Health and Vegetation Monitoring
Sunday, July 31 
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Instructor: Jeff Herrick, USDA ARS
Participants will learn about how to use the LandPKS app to access soil surveys and ecological site information, as well as how non-soil scientists can use the app to identify the soil for any location in the world. We will learn how to use the app to determine soil texture and color and to access information about wildlife habitat requirements for over 100 species, filtered based on location. We will then explore the monitoring tools, including BLM-AIM and NRCS-NRI vegetation, as well as all NRCS Cropland In-Field Soil Health indicators. Simple in-app instructions explain how to measure or observe each indicator. At the end of the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to provide suggestions for the development of the next generation of LandPKS apps. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to download the free app from the Apple App or Google Play Store prior to the workshop. More information is available at https://LandPotential.org/
Tickets: $75 early/$100 late (after June 22)

Workshop #2: Measure the Impacts of Your Science-Based Approach to Farm Conservation
Sunday, July 31 
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Instructor: Kelly Young, Field to Market
Go beyond simply documenting the uptake of conservation agriculture practices by the growers you serve to demonstrating the impacts of those practices on natural resources. This workshop will walk participants through the Fieldprint Platform, a free, online measurement tool that measures the effects of fine-tuning grower’s operations on greenhouse gas emissions, soil carbon, energy and water use, erosion, water quality, and biodiversity. Using analytics developed and agreed upon by top scientists and industry experts, the Fieldprint Platform allows conservationists to tell a compelling story, backed up by data, about the real impacts of their work.
Tickets: $75 early/$100 late (after June 22)

Workshop #3: Elevating Conservation Outreach through Improved Messaging
Sunday, July 31 
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Instructors: Jessica Espenshade, National Wildlife Federation; Adam Reimer, National Wildlife Federation
Outreach professionals often struggle to reach beyond “the choir” of producers who are already interested in soil health and regenerative practices such as cover crops, no-till, and rotational grazing. This workshop will build professional skills and confidence to use messaging and outreach approaches that appeal to nonconservation adopting producers. By centering outreach in an understanding of producer decision making and communication principles, this workshop will enhance the existing technical capacities of professionals. This workshop will include a mix of content delivered by outreach professionals from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), breakout discussions among participants, and a planning session to apply concepts to outreach programming. The content shared by NWF staff is based on current social and behavioral science research on producer decision making, including diffusion of agricultural innovations through farming populations, communication principles, and community engagement. This workshop will allow participants to share their experiences with outreach approaches that have been successful at reaching nonadopting producers, and co-learn, with fellow participants, new strategies and messages to engage traditionally hard-to-reach audiences.
Tickets: $75 early/$100 late (after June 22)

Workshop #4: Leveraging Decoloniality and Anti-Racism as Frames for Equitable Community Partnership in Sustainability Efforts
Sunday, July 31 
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Instructor: Brandon Bell, Syngenta North America
Understanding the interplay between social justice and environmental sustainability will be key in forging solutions to address 21st-century climate and sustainability concerns. The historical underpinning of colonization and racism further complicate efforts for true synergy across groups with differing pasts but shared future needs. This session explores the ideological shifts and practical actions professionals and organizations can take in order to craft mutually beneficial relationships that center on equity as a key lever of a sustainable future for all. Participants will leave with actionable steps to assess their readiness to engage in culturally responsive and restorative sustainability efforts.
Tickets: $75 early/$100 late (after June 22)