(Ankeny, Iowa – July 1, 2020) The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) 75th International Annual Conference, to be held virtually July 27-29, 2020, will feature presentations and dialogue surrounding the latest conservation ideas, technologies, and practices. Registration is open through July 15, 2020.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Expanding Horizons: Where Conservation Meets Innovation.”
On Monday afternoon, the conference general sessions will open with a panel discussing USDA’s Agricultural Innovation Agenda. The agenda is a new, department-wide initiative with the goal of increasing US agricultural production by 40% while cutting the environmental footprint of US agriculture in half by 2050. Director Bill Hohenstein (Office of Energy and Environmental Policy), Deputy Under Secretary Scott Hutchins (Research, Education, and Economics), and Under Secretary Bill Northey (Farm Production and Conservation) will be joined by partner experts for the conversation. Topics will include Agricultural Innovation Agenda strategy and goals, soil health technologies, and the use of remote sensing for tracking conservation adoption.
During the event’s Wednesday morning plenary session, attendees will hear from two additional USDA leaders. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Iowa State Conservationist Kurt Simon will introduce NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr, who will share a presentation regarding NRCS initiatives and updates. As 16th Chief of NRCS, Lohr leads the agency and its mission to support America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners in their voluntary conservation efforts.
Following NRCS leadership, Dale Threatt-Taylor, executive director of The Nature Conservancy South Carolina and incoming SWCS chair, will host Ebony Webber, chief operating officer of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS), for a dialogue regarding the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion for conservation initiatives and organizations.
During the conference, conservationists will have the opportunity to attend two days of concurrent breakout sessions, poster presentations, and a virtual exhibit hall. Specialty tracks will foster dialogue surrounding application of data in agriculture; edge-of-field conservation practices, including wetlands, bioreactors, saturated buffers, and others; and the role of collaborative on-farm trials and demonstrations for research and adoption.
In addition to the same excellent content attendees experience at in-person SWCS events, this year’s conference will include special online galleries, virtual socials and games, and historical presentations to celebrate SWCS’s 75th anniversary and usher in a new era of research, practice, and people. All presentations will also be recorded and available to conference registrants after the event.
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 or to register, visit http://www.swcs.org/20AC. Registration will close July 15, 2020. In order to prepare speakers and attendees for the best event possible, no registrations will be accepted after the July 15 deadline.
For seventy-five years, the Soil and Water Conservation Society has been the premier international organization for professionals who practice and advance the science and art of natural resource conservation. We believe sustainable land and water management is essential to the continued security of the earth and its people. Our goal is to cultivate an organization of informed, dynamic individuals whose contributions create a bright future for agriculture, the environment, and society. The Soil and Water Conservation Society is headquartered in Ankeny, Iowa, with chapters across the United States and Canada.
For More Information:
Clare Lindahl, CEO
Soil and Water Conservation Society