2018 Summer Meeting Concurrent Sessions

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Monday, August 6

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Water Words that Work: Closing the Deal with Rural Landowners

Piedmont BC

Speaker: Erik Eckl, Water Words that Work; Bobby Whitescarver, Soil Health Champion

Learn tricks of the trade that have proven beneficial to getting voluntary conservation projects on the ground. Explore the demographics of rural landowners and their perspectives on voluntary conservation programs. Spot the telltale signs that a landowner might be receptive to your offer. Hear how “ag whisperers” cultivate their personal reputation among landowners and help them reach a decision to pursue conservation measures and more. This session will continue throughout the day, building on the curriculum.

 

Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience Efforts from NOAA

Tidewater ABCD

Moderator: Elaine Tholen, Northern Virginia SWCD Director
Speakers: Shannon Sprague, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office Manager of Environmental Literacy and Partnerships, Bronwen Rice, NOAA B-WET National Education Program Coordinator

Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEE) are multi-stage activities that include learning both outdoors and in the classroom and aim to increase the environmental literacy of all participants. Hear local examples where MWEE programs are funded. Leave with solid examples of how to further MWEE work in your own district.

Virginia Urban Agriculture NACD Grant Recipients Showcase

Allegheny AB

Moderator: Jim Wallace, Colonial SWCD District Manager
Speakers: New River SWCD, Colonial SWCD, Lord Fairfax SWCD and Henricopolis SWCD

Learn about the innovative projects underway in Virginia thanks to the NACD Urban Agriculture Grant Initiative. Colonial SWCD and Lord Fairfax SWCD are creating an interactive youth gardening experience. Henricopolis SWCD has created a farm-to-school project in the greater metropolitan Richmond region, and New River SWCD is training residents and students through demonstrations to develop family-sized urban agriculture plots.

Forestry: Generation Next – Legacy Planning

Colony ABC

Moderator: Richard Street, Tri-/County/City SWCD Director and Virginia Soil and Water Board Chairman
Speakers: Mike Santucci, Virginia Department of Forestry; Adam Downing, Virginia Cooperative Extension

The Southeastern region is in the midst of high-risk land decisions by over 5 million family forest owners. What will happen to land as it transitions from the hands of the current generation? Without discussing and planning, it often ends up parcelized and sold, thereby losing a family heirloom and risking non-farm/forest uses for that property. Transitioning these acres intact and in forest to the next generation is paramount; given our unique role, it is something we can impact. This session will inspire and equip you with awareness, knowledge and simple tools to positively impact land and landowners for generations to come.
2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Water Words that Work: Closing the Deal with Rural Landowners

Piedmont BC

Speaker: Erik Eckl, Water Words that Work; Bobby Whitescarver, Soil Health Champion

Part II: Negotiations, Start to Finish – You will learn how to cultivate your personal reputation among landowners and help them reach a decision to pursue a conservation measure on their property. This session builds on the curriculum presented in the morning session. It is recommended to attend more than one session.

Virginia Conservation Assistance Program: An Urban Cost Share Program

Tidewater ABCD

Speaker: Kevin McLean, Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts VCAP Coordinator

The Virginia Conservation Assistance Program (VCAP) is an urban cost-share program of the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD) that provides financial incentives and technical and educational assistance to property owners installing eligible Best Management Practices (BMPs) in Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Learn how this pilot program has grown to be the latest in demand effort of the VASWCD and districts.

Soil Health Session: A Partnership Approach to Building Soil Health on Grazing Lands

Allegheny AB

Moderator: Matt Kowalski, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Speakers:
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Field Technician Alston Horn and NRCS Grassland Agronomist J.B. Daniel

Partnerships are key to getting the soil health message to farmers, helping them understand associated management practices/techniques that lead to healthier soil and getting them interested in applying these principles in their operations. Virginia NRCS has had great success with a multi-faceted approach that focuses on educating staff, industry partners and farmers in the same setting. By leveraging resources, NRCS and partners have implemented new initiatives and innovative approaches to outreach and education. Join us as we share how we have worked with partners to get producers involved, educated and motivated to make soil health a major priority on their grazing lands.

Envirothon: Virginia Dominion Envirothon Showcase and NCF-Envirothon Updates

Colony ABC

Moderator: Richard Street, Tri-/County/City SWCD Director and Virginia Soil and Water Board Chairman
Speaker: Bonnie Mahl, VASWCD Education and Training Coordinator

Learn about the unique partnership between the VASWCD and Dominion Energy in support of Virginia’s Dominion Energy Envirothon program. Review Virginia Envirothon resources that can be used in your own local district. Hear program updates and more regarding the upcoming 2019 Envirothon to be held in the Southeast Region at North Carolina State University.
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Water Words that Work: Closing the Deal with Rural Landowners

Piedmont BC

Speaker: Erik Eckl, Water Words that Work; Bobby Whitescarver, Soil Health Champion

*This session will run until 5:00 p.m.

Part III: Persistence Pays and So Does Customer Service. In this session, explore how top field staff stay and provide a good customer service experience despite an ever-expanding workload.  It is recommended to attend more than one session on this topic as the curriculum builds throughout the day.

Coastal Topics-Bounty of the Bay: Successes in Oyster Restoration and Aquaculture in the Chesapeake Bay

Tidewater ABCD

Moderator: Keith Boyd, NRCS Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations
Speakers: Jeff Jones, NRCS State Biologist; Andrew Button, VMRC; Karen Hudson, VIMS

Until the 1980s, oysters supported the most valuable fishery in the Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately, decades of pollution, overharvesting and disease reduced the Bay’s native oyster population to a fraction of historic levels. Partners are successfully working to increase wild oyster populations and aquaculture opportunities for harvesters. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s oyster restoration programs offer citizens the tools and information needed to help restore native oysters. The NRCS is also offering funding through a Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project with the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) to help oyster growers improve water quality and increase oyster habitat in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries.

Evaluation Tools for the Local Level

Allegheny AB

Moderator: Laura Demmel, NACD Director of Development
Speakers: Aaron Lauster, NRCS National Sustainable Agriculture Leader; Rich Duesterhaus, NACD Director of Projects and Partnerships

Land stewardship evaluation tools are used in districts and NRCS offices as a means to connect with landowners, assess operations for better conservation planning, and qualify operators for programs. Two tools are helping NRCS plan for the future, the Resource Stewardship Evaluation Tool (RSET) and the new Conservation Application Ranking Tool. The session will cover both and also highlight how Local Working Groups, often led by conservation districts, add value to these tools by establishing local context and priorities.

Tribal Outreach and Partnership

Colony ABC

Moderators: Chip Jones, VASWCD First Vice President/Director; NACD Tribal Outreach and Partnership Resource Policy Group (TOP RPG) Staff Advisor Dave Vogel
Speakers: Jerry Pardilla, United South and Eastern Tribes (USET); Southeast Region Representatives Chip Jones, Va., Jerry Smith, Miss., Bill Yarborough, N.C.

Learn about United South and Eastern Tribes advocacy and support for tribes, conservation and protection programs, opportunities for collaboration and partnership activities in the Southeast region.

 

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