Agenda for precision conservation conference

Precision Conservation:

Technology Redefining Local Water Quality Practices

A Conference for Water Quality Officials, Planners and Managers

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Silverwood Park
2500 County Road E
St. Anthony, MN

Draft Agenda

8:30– 9:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00–9:10 Welcome/ Conference Purpose.

9:10— 10:00 Overview of Precision Conservation – Tools and Strategies for Effectively Targeting Conservation Practices and Resources


Precision conservation puts the correct conservation practice in the right location at the right time to protect soil, water and habitats, while optimizing the production of food, feed, fiber and biofuel. Small portions of the landscape can have a disproportionately large impact on soil and water degradation. Some tools long have been available to target conservation practices to these critical areas. But over about the last decade, new tools and strategies have been developed that use digital elevation models from LiDAR imaging to dramatically improve our ability to target conservation practices efficiently and effectively. Dr. David Mulla, University of Minnesota agronomist and director of the university’s Precision Agriculture Center.


10—10:15 Break

10:15–10:45 Targeting: A local water official’s view. Targeting is available now, or becoming available, in ways it never was before. And the competition for funding for conservation practices increasingly is driven by local officials’ ability to demonstrate they are practicing targeting. (A watershed board chairman has been invited.)

10:45 –11:30 Putting targeting into practice. Dots on a map showing where best management practices would be effective do no good if landowners do not adopt them. Personal contact and building relationships with landowners and operators remain the key to getting conservation on the land. UM Professor Mae Davenport and Paul Nelson, Scott County Watershed Management Organization Administrator. (Confirmed).

11:45 – 12:45 Lunch and keynote address by Dave White, chief of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. (Confirmed).

1:00 – 1:50 Urban case studies. Jay Riggs from the Washington Conservation District and Shawn Tracy. (Both confirmed)

2:00 – 2:50 Ag case studies. Bev Nordby from the Mower County SWCD, speaking on three projects on the Cedar and Root rivers. (Confirmed) Stephanie Johnson from Houston Engineering and perhaps an SWCD supervisor, speaking on targeting in the Red River basin, including a project on the Upper South Branch of the Buffalo River. (Invited)

3:00 – 3:45 – Lessons learned and next steps – Panel discussion.

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