Training News from BWSR

Train Tracks NEW

October 2023  

In this issue:


BWSR staff look forward to seeing those who have registered at BWSR Academy, October 24-26. Individual Academy registration folders will be available at the BWSR registration table beginning October 23 from 5:00-6:30 p.m. or during the day at BWSR Academy. Refreshments will be available at 9:30 a.m. on October 24 prior to the Welcome and Logistics overview at 10:00 a.m. in the Lakeside Dining Room. BWSR Academy is packed full of opportunities to enhance your skills with three days of concurrent sessions in seven tracks and six office hours pertaining to various BWSR programs staffed by BWSR employees.  Safe travels!

Training Succes Story

Menoken Farm Bus Tour Attendees

Menoken Farm Bus Tour

In August, SW Prairie TSA 5 (part of ATTT 5) coordinated a three-day soil health bus tour to North Dakota. The first stop was in Frankfort, SD at the Brian and Jaimie Johnson farm to view their soil health practices including long term no-till, cover crops, and grazing management. The next day, the group reached their main destination: Burleigh County and the Menoken Farm. In addition to a full day immersing everyone in soil health practices, planning and communication with landowners was emphasized. Local producer Becky Small helped participants discuss soil health practices, soil health tests, grazing, and other practices to improve their comfort level when visiting with producers. Before leaving the area, the group stopped at the NRCS Plant Materials Center in Bismarck for a tour of the Center and a better understanding of what it offers conservation staff in the region. Participants saw seed cleaning equipment, refrigeration facilities, fields of compass plant foundation seed, seeding trials, and tree plots.


Technical Training & Certification Program Updates

Technical Training & Certification Program Logo

Only You Can Do Your IDP Smokey the Bear Image

Did you complete your Individual Development Plan?


You still have time! Individual Development Plans (IDPs) are used by Minnesota’s Technical Training and Certification Program (TTCP) to identify priority technical training needs throughout the state. These training needs provide the foundation for TTCP’s annual training plan. Please complete your IDP by Friday, Oct. 13!


Having an accurate assessment of technical training needs is critical to ensure our training delivery will address local needs. There are a couple of things you can do to improve the accuracy of your training needs:


  • Review and update your existing training needs. You identified a training need last year, but is it still a training need? It only takes a few moments to either remove outdated training needs or to update them as a current request. For the coming year, we will not consider any training needs dated prior to January 1, 2023.
  • Be as specific as possible. When requesting training, there is a space to enter additional comments to identify the topic or content of the training you need, such as specific wildlife species or plant regimes.
  • When identifying a practice as a training need, you can select which phases – planning, design, construction – you are requesting training on. There is also an option to identify On the Job Training (OJT), classroom, field, or virtual training preferences.
  • If you are a newer employee and need some examples of typical practices by land use, check out the common practices by land use tab in the New Employee Training Guide.


To assist both managers and technical staff in completing IDPs, we have put together several resources. This includes two short videos that have bookmarks so you can jump to the specific section you need help with.


Do you prefer visuals and written instructions? Check out the IDP User Guidance resources.


If you have questions or need further assistance please contact us.


Upcoming Tech Talks


The fall schedule for Tech Talks is filling up fast!


On October 30, Krysten Zummo, Grassland Ecologist, will be presenting on The Audubon Conservation Ranching Program.


The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently released new practice standards. We will be covering several of these on November 13 and 27:


  • Controlled Traffic Farming (CPS 334)
  • Conservation Harvest Management (CPS 809)
  • Field Operations Emissions Reduction (CPS 376)
  • Amending Soil Properties with Lime (CPS 805)
  • Annual Forages for Grazing Systems (CPS 810)


More information about these sessions, and links to replays for previous sessions, can be found here.


History of Minnesota Forests


Join Duane Fogard, ABC Forester, on November 28 at 1:00 for a glimpse at what makes Minnesota so great: the forests. Forests provide a multitude of benefits to the environment, wildlife, and human society, and their sustainable management is essential for the wellbeing of the planet and future generations.


A link to join the session on Tuesday, November 28, can be found here.


Kernza, Multipurpose Perennial Cover


Kernza is a perennial grass that can be used as a source of grain and for livestock forage. Join this session on December 5 at 12:30 to learn more about Kernza, including conservation benefits, financial assistance options, livestock forage, seed availability, and market development. Presenters include Jake Jungers, UMN; Cynthia Bartel, Iowa State; Tessa Peters, The Land Institute; and Colin Cureton, Forever Green Initiative.


A link to join this session on Tuesday, December 5, can be found 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.


Upcoming Training Events

BWSR Sponsored Training Events



Oct 24-26

BWSR Academy,  Brainerd



Minnesota Wetland Professional Certification Program

Minnesota Wetland Professional Certification Program


The MWPCP is planning the 2024 training schedule. The courses will be listed on the MWPCP website.

Technical Training & Certification Program Trainings


Tech Talk Webinars:

Mondays at 1:00

Oct 30

Audubon Conservation Ranching

Nov 13 - 9 AM

Controlled Traffic Farming, Conservation Harvest Management, and Field Operations Emissions Reduction

Nov 13 - 1 PM

Amending Soil Properties with Lime

Nov 27

Annual Forages for Grazing Systems





Nov 2

Grassed Waterway EFT-WDT, Mankato


Grassed Waterway EFT-WDT, Rochester

Nov 28

History of Minnesota Forests, Online





Dec 5

Kernza, Multipurpose Perennial Cover, Online


Related Partner Trainings



Nov 28-Dec 1

MN Watersheds Annual Convention MN Watersheds Annual Convention, MN Watersheds, Alexandria




Dec 11-13

MASWCD Annual Convention MASWCD Annual Convention MASWCD, Bloomington


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 &