Training News from BWSR

Train Tracks NEW

February 2023  

In this issue:


Registration for BWSR Spring Training Opens February 27th


The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) again will offer BWSR Spring Training for our LGU partners. This is an opportunity to receive training without leaving your office! The online training opportunity will take place on the morning of March 30, with a total of ten concurrent sessions offered with five sessions from 8:30 a.m-10:00 a.m. and five sessions from 10:30 a.m. - noon.  There is no cost to participate, but registration is required to receive the session link. Registration will open February 27th and closes March 14th. For additional information, go to please visit the BWSR Spring Training page.


Technical Training & Certification Program Updates

Technical Training & Certification Program Logo

Registration is now open for Basic Cover Crop Training

Cover crops are a conservation practice that is important to cropland systems. They slow erosion, smother weeds, enhance nutrient and moisture availability, increase infiltration, improve other beneficial soil functions, and provide a host of other benefits to a field and farm. At the same time, there is a steep learning curve to successfully integrating cover crops into a farming operation and realizing these benefits. The goal of this training is to provide a strong foundation for understanding how cover crops can be incorporated into Midwestern cropping systems.


Image for Basic Cover Crop Training Announcement

The target audience for this training includes NRCS, SWCD, and other conservation partner employees that have been on the job for less than 5 years or for those who need a refresher training.


This training will be provided as a phased delivery:


Phase one includes four virtual webinar sessions held on Mondays and Fridays March 6, 10, 13 and 17 from 9:30 to 12:00.


Phase two of training includes a single day in-person session held in each area of the state during the last two weeks of March.


Phase one virtual webinar sessions are open to anyone who may wish to attend or who would benefit from the information, regardless of their technical experience or background. Space is limited, so if you only intend to watch the virtual webinars, please do not complete the registration.


Those seeking planner certification, soil health JAA, or to develop their technical experience in these fields should plan to complete both phases of the training to receive full credit for the course. The webinars serve as prerequisites and must be watched in full prior to attending the in-person session. Only those who plan to attend the in-person session need to register.


Additional information about this training and a link to join the webinars can be found here.


Additional information for the in-person sessions and a link to the registration can be found here.


Water and Sediment Control Basin (WASCOB) Training

The Technical Training and Certification Program is offering a basic Water and Sediment Control Basin (WASCOB) Design training at the Waite Park Field Office.


This training will cover the basics of a WASCOB design using the WASCOB Design spreadsheet located on the Minnesota FOTG. This training is intended for individuals that have knowledge on what a WASCOB is but need training on designing a WASCOB using the WASCOB Design Spreadsheet. There will be two separate trainings – do not sign up for both.  On March 29 the training will focus on designing WASCOBs with the Spreadsheet using AutoCAD. On April 6 the training will focus on designing WASCOBs with the Spreadsheet using ArcMap.


Space is limited, so please only sign up if you are serious about designing WASCOBs in the next year. If you are unsure if this training is for you speak with your supervisor or speak with your Area Engineer.


For more information or to register for the AutoCAD session, please click here.


For more information or to register for the ArcMap session, please click here.


Registration is Open for “Basic Soils and Landscapes Training for Conservation Planners”

Basic Soils and Landscapes Training for Conservation Planners

Soils form the fabric of conservation planning and understanding the soil survey is foundational to evaluating resource concerns. This two-day course will provide an overview of the soil survey program, methods, soil maps, Web Soil Survey, interpretive information, and other soil resources that support technical staff with the conservation planning process. Soil genesis, properties, and soil-landscape relationships will all be outlined. Participants will have hands-on opportunities in the field with guides, tools, and survey methods to gain confidence and a better understanding of how soils are evaluated and applied to conservation planning.


This two-day course will be offered in two locations statewide:


  • April 24-25 in Faribault, MN
  • April 27-28 in Detroit Lakes, MN


For more information or to register please click here.


2023 Training Calendar

An updated working version of the 2023 training calendar is now available. This 12 month view of training offerings is regularly updated and provides information about upcoming training events, including potential dates and locations. Please see the legend at the top and note that the further out a training is proposed the more likely adjustments will need to be made. The dates, locations, and other details are always tentative until the event is posted on the Training Calendar.


Business of Soil Health – Profitability and Weather Resiliency

Join Renville SWCD and the Hawk Creek Watershed Project on Wednesday, March 1 from 9:00 – 2:00 at the Renville Community Center to learn more about the business of soil health including farm profitability, regenerative practices, and the biology of soil health. Speakers include area farmers, Matt Tiffany and Phil Smith, as well as Dr. Jonathan Lundgren, CEO of Blue Dasher Farm. Please RSVP by February 22 by contacting Jordan Austin at or 320-523-3666. Lunch will be provided and there will be a drawing for door prizes. Additional information can be found here.


2023 HWY 14 CLASIC Soil Health Tours

Network, learn and get inspired with area farmers and regional farming innovators about current trends for improving productivity and profitability in crop, livestock and healthy soil building operations. The Crop, Livestock, and Soil Innovation Conferences (CLASIC) travels along Highway 14 and consist of several stops. See schedules online for details and more information. Each stop's soil health program is unique and varied – be sure to check them all out and register. Speakers for the HWY 14 tour include Jay Fuhrer and Jason Stoll.


You must register for each tour stop separately. Additional information and registration linked below:


Growing Hope: Practical Tools for Our Changing Climate

NCAT’s third annual national conference will be held every Tuesday and Thursday beginning Tuesday, February 28 through March 16, 2023. This free series of virtual workshops will feature renowned speakers (like Dr. Rattan Lal, Ohio State University Soil Scientist and World Food Prize winner for his work on soil carbon capture and global food security) and showcase farm stories that make the connection between our changing climate, healthy soils, and farm productivity and resilience. We will hear from farmers and ranchers who are producing food, fiber, and fuel in ways that restore and maintain landscape health and mitigate greenhouse gases. We will hear from producers who have come to understand the centrality of carbon to agroecosystems. We will share stories of people coming together to support each other in challenging times. We will leave you with an understanding of climate beneficial agriculture and actions you can take on your own land to make your farm and your local community resilient in the long term.


Week 1 will focus on Climate and Soils, week 2 on Ecosystem Health, and week 3 on Community Resiliency. Topics include carbon farm planning, fertilizer reduction, agroforestry, grazing for climate, farm and ranch resiliency, and the power of community. Click here to register.


Soil Health Tidbits

On February 13 the Illinois Cover Crop Initiative and American Farmland Trust are hosting a virtual session on cover crop termination strategies and challenges. Additional information and a link to register can be found here.


The Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership sends out a monthly newsletter called “The Aggregate.” It is filled with information on upcoming events, training opportunities, podcast episodes, and success stories from Midwest farmers. You can subscribe to the newsletter on their website.



Upcoming Training Events

BWSR Sponsored Training Events



March 30

BWSR Spring Training, 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m., online



Minnesota Wetland Professional Certification Program

Minnesota Wetland Professional Certification Program

2023 MWPCP Training Courses

April 20

WCA Regulatory Training, St. Cloud MNDOT Training Facility

May 16-17

Regional Training, Rochester Public Utilities Building

June 12-16

Wetland Delineation and Regulation Basic Class, Arden Hills

June 20

Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA), MNDOT Shoreview Training Center

July 18

Basic Wetland Plant ID, Dakota County SWCD, Farmington

July 20

Basic Wetland Plant ID, Central Lakes College, Brainerd

August 8

Wetland Delineation Refresher, Prairie Woods ELC, Spicer

August 15-16

Regional Training- Prairie Wetlands Learning Center, Fergus Falls

September 11-15

Wetland Delineation and Regulation Basic Class, Brainerd


Please see the MWPCP Training Opportunities page for more information on these courses.


Registration for all MWPCP courses (except the virtual training) will open the week of March 20th.  At that time, an email announcement will go out to the MWPCP and BWSR Wetland Conservation Act email contact lists.

Technical Training & Certification Program Trainings



Tech Talk Webinars:  Mondays at 1 p.m.

Feb 27

HY-8 (Culvert Design)


No Tech Talks due to the Basic Cover Crop webinars.

April 3

Livestock Forage Balance Worksheet

April 17

TTCP Onboarding

May 8

Economics of Soil Loss





Mar 6, 10, 13, & 17

Basic Cover Crop Phase I, Online

Mar 20, 21

Basic Cover Crop Phase II, Crookston

Mar 23, 24

Basic Cover Crop Phase II, Brainerd

Mar 27, 28

Basic Cover Crop Phase II, Marshall

Mar 29

WASCOB Spreadsheet Design – CAD, Waite Park

Mar 30, 31

Basic Cover Crop Phase II, Austin





Apr 6

WASCOB Spreadsheet Design – ArcMap, Waite Park

Apr 24 to 25

Soils and Landscapes of Minnesota, Faribault

Apr 27 to 28


Soils and Landscapes of Minnesota, Detroit Lakes



Related Partner Trainings




Through Mar 17

Nitrogen Smart, UMN Extension, Multiple Locations

Through Jun 2023

Agroforestry and USDA Webinar Series, USDA National Agroforestry Center, Online

Feb 15

Let’s Talk Weed Management and Herbicide Resistance, UMN Extension, Online

Feb 16

How Management Decisions Affect Ecological Outcomes in Agroecosystems, Prairie Reconstruction Initiative, Online

Feb 16

Dynamic Forests for Birds and Wildlife in the Great Lakes Region Series, ABC and NRCS, Online

Feb 21

Nutrient Management Conference, UMN Extension, St. Cloud

Feb 21-23

28th Annual Wetland Science Conference, Wisconsin Wetlands Association, Stevens Point, WI

Feb 21-23

Hwy 14 CLASIC Soil Health Tour, SWCDs and Soil Health Partners, Multiple Locations

Feb 22

Let’s Talk Cover Crop FAQs, UMN Extension, Online

Feb 22

Prairie Reconstruction Initiative Winter Webinars - How Management Decisions Affect Ecological Outcomes in Agroecosystem Revegetation Projects, MN DNR

Feb 28

Growing Hope: Practical Tools for our Changing Climate, NCAT, Online

Feb 28

Silvopasture - What It Is and What It Is Not, NRCS Science and Technology, Online





Mar 1

Business of Soil Health: Profitability and Weather Resiliency, Renville SWCD and Hawk Creek Watershed Project, Renville

Mar 2

Organic Training Series Session 2: Organic Certification, NRCS, Online

Mar 2

Growing Hope: Practical Tools for our Changing Climate, NCAT, Online

Mar 7

Growing Hope: Practical Tools for our Changing Climate, NCAT, Online

Mar 7-9

Best Practices for Pollinators Summit 2023, Xerces Society, online

Mar 8-9

Sustainable Farming Association Midwest Soil Health Summit, SFA, Alexandria, MN

Mar 9

Growing Hope: Practical Tools for our Changing Climate, NCAT, Online

Mar 14

Growing Hope: Practical Tools for our Changing Climate, NCAT, Online

Mar 16

Growing Hope: Practical Tools for our Changing Climate, NCAT, Online

Mar 16

Dynamic Forests for Birds and Wildlife in the Great Lakes Region Series, ABC and NRCS, Online

Mar 20

Beating the Weeds Without Herbicides: Soil-Friendly Organic Weed Management, NRCS, Online

Mar 30

Organic Training Series Session 3: Organic Regulations and Opportunities for NRCS Support, NRCS, Online

Mar 30

Dynamic Forests for Birds and Wildlife in the Great Lakes Region Series, ABC and NRCS, Online



Learn on Your Own

Not all training takes place in a classroom. Check out the links below to learn at a time and place of your choosing.


We’ve also put together a searchable library of recorded modules, webinars, videos and other resources to help our staff and partners find professional development information on a variety of topics. You can visit BWSR's Online Learning page to find web-based technical training resources sorted by category.




Program Contacts

Barbara Radke
Training Coordinator
(507) 844-0442 
  Jon Sellnow
TTCP Coordinator
(218) 340-3521

David Demmer &
Ben Meyer
MWPCP Coordinators
(218) 464-8289 &
(612) 201-9806 &