May 1, 2019

Photo of MehanPhoto of Lohr(Ankeny, Iowa – May 1, 2019) The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) 74th International Annual Conference, to be held July 28-31, 2019, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will feature conservation leaders whose work emphasizes the importance of engaging both urban and rural communities in efforts to protect natural resources. Registration is open through July 17, 2019.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Bridging the Divide: Uniting Rural and Urban Landscapes for Conservation.”

“The Soil and Water Conservation Society is looking forward to convening hundreds of conservation professionals researching and practicing conservation in urban and rural landscapes to learn from one another, forge new and stronger connections, and increase our ability to protect our soil and water resources,” says Clare Lindahl, CEO of SWCS.

The keynote Pritchard Lecture, “Bridging the Urban Rural Divide for America’s Drinking Water,” will be delivered by G. Tracy Mehan III, Executive Director of Government Affairs for the American Water Works Association. A widely respected expert in environmental policy and an insightful and thought-provoking writer, Mehan has been on the forefront of advocating for national water policy and projects through the Farm Bill and Regional Conservation Partnership Program. He will provide insight on what is being described as “an unheard of opportunity” to scale up partnerships between urban stakeholders and agriculture for the protection of our water supplies.

On Tuesday, July 30, the general session will open with remarks from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Matthew Lohr. A fifth-generation farmer from Virginia, Lohr provides leadership for NRCS and its mission to support America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners in their voluntary conservation efforts through a network of more than 3,000 service centers in communities nationwide.

Also on Tuesday morning, a farmer panel will showcase the work of farmer leaders who make a difference in agriculture and conservation across the nation and within their communities. As farmers first, they bring a unique knowledge and skill set to their leadership positions. Each will provide his or her predictions for the future of farming and share strategies for preparing organizations and farms for what lies ahead.

In addition to hearing from leaders in conservation, conference attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the newest conservation research, projects, policies, technologies, partnerships, and programs. Specialty tracks will foster dialogue about unique collaborations in watershed planning and implementation, engagement of the private sector in conservation, and the challenges of adapting the landscape to a changing climate. An exhibit hall, poster session, and professional development tracks round out the conference. Attendees can also opt into tours that show conservation in action in the local area.

Continuing education units will be available for certified crop advisors, professional agronomists, professionals in erosion and sediment control, and others.

To learn more about activities at the SWCS International Annual Conference and the connections between rural and urban conservation, or to register, visit



About SWCS

With more than 3000 members around the world, the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization that serves as an advocate for conservation professionals and for science-based conservation practice, programs, and policy.

The SWCS mission is to foster the science and art of natural resource conservation. We work to discover, develop, implement and constantly improve conservation practices and systems that sustain the productive capacity of the land while protecting environmental quality.

We pursue our mission through a combination of research, education and advocacy aimed at promoting state-of-the-art conservation practices and science-based conservation policy.

For More Information:

Clare Lindahl, CEO
Soil and Water Conservation Society
515-289-2331, ext.113

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