Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) Showcase
Monday, July 22
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 is an introduction and highlights the variability of the CIG program, the second panel explores water quality and nutrient management, and the last panel covers soil health and cover crops.

This showcase runs from 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM on Monday, July 22. 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) Annual Meeting
Monday, July 22
1:30 PM - 5:00 PM

ARCSE Annual Business Meeting, 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM

The ARCSE annual business meeting is open to association members and others interested in learning more about the association’s business. Leadership from NRCS, SWCS, ARCSE, and other organizations speak to topics involving conservation policy and program direction, cross-generation engagement, and other priority ARCSE interests.

Historical Review of Conservation in the Piedmont and Coastal Regions of the Carolinas, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

This segment, for ARCSE members and interested SWCS conference attendees, kicks off with the presentation of awards for community service and exceptional contribution to the association. The program then features a historical review of conservation in the Piedmont and Coastal regions of the Carolinas from the perspective of long-time conservation employees in the area from its early beginnings to today.

The Basics of Mentoring, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

This segment, open to all SWCS conference attendees, covers basic mentoring approaches and techniques for those interested in becoming an ARCSE member or wanting a refresher. The recent NRCS/ARCSE Memorandum of Understanding emphasizes tapping into the reservoir of experience and knowledge of retired conservationists. Many mentors with this experience are needed for new hires coming on board to provide technical assistance and program support to climate-smart initiatives and the new farm bill.

Those participating in any of these ARCSE sessions but not registered for the SWCS conference have the option of purchasing a ticket to the Exhibit and Poster Reception immediately following for further networking with fellow conservationists.

USDA Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) Showcase
Tuesday, July 23
10:30 AM – 5:00 PM 

The Conservation Effects Assessment Project-Watershed Assessment Studies (CEAP-WAS) was initiated in 2003 to quantify the measurable environmental effects of conservation practices and develop the science base for managing agricultural landscapes for environmental quality. CEAP has grown to include 25 active projects, including watershed studies assessing conservation practices and implementation, and several special projects that include legacy nutrients, ephemeral gully erosion, and the development and assessment of conservation tools and models. Please join USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and university CEAP scientists to celebrate 20+ years of CEAP and learn and discuss the many CEAP-WAS assessments conducted across the United States. This year's meeting will take place as a CEAP Showcase within the SWCS Annual Conference on Tuesday, July 23, featuring three oral sessions and a poster session on Monday, July 22, and Tuesday, July 23, with presentations ranging in topics from conservation outcomes to phosphorus sources and transport, and development and application of tools and modeling for assessing conservation practices. Please join us in celebrating 20+ years of CEAP!   

Women in NRCS (WiN) Annual Meeting
Tuesday, July 23
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM 

The National Organization of Professional Women in NRCS (WiN) will be hosting their Annual Business Meeting to discuss their 2024 accomplishments, celebrate their members, and plan for the fall elections and the upcoming year. Everyone is welcome to attend and learn more about the organization and the opportunities available to WiN members. Membership is open to anyone who supports the mission of providing women with training, opportunities, and mentoring to develop into their full potential. Membership is not limited to women or NRCS employees