Training News from BWSR

Train Tracks NEW

November 2023  

In this issue:

Training Success Story

2023 BWSR Academy Session

Training and networking – A successful combination at 2023 BWSR Academy


The 15th annual BWSR Academy was held Oct. 24-26 at Cragun’s Conference Center in Brainerd with over 440 registrants, seven tracks offering 63 concurrent sessions, and more than 125 trainers.

Tracks and session topics change each year to remain current with training needs. BWSR Academy aims to provide high-quality training for local government staff that maintains and improves the delivery of conservation work by offering interactive sessions. While there is always room for improvement, attendees acknowledged BWSR Academy’s value in their evaluation forms. Evaluation comments included “I thought the session offerings were absolutely helpful in educating me on skills I will directly apply to my job” and “This was my first BWSR Academy and I found all my courses to be very helpful and informational.”


BWSR Academy truly does take a village to make it happen including the many BWSR staff who contribute time in planning or training, external partners who provide input into BWSR Academy, and the many, many external trainers who volunteer their time. Thank you to all of you and see you next year!


Technical Training & Certification Program Updates

Technical Training & Certification Program Logo

Thank you for completing your Individual Development Plan


Thank you to everyone who completed or updated their Individual Development Plan (IDP).  Between January 1 and October 13 of this year 334 people identified over 2,000 technical training needs in their IDPs.


What happens next? Throughout November this information will be reviewed by your Area Technical Training Team (ATTT) to determine the local training priorities. Those priorities will then be compiled at the state level and used to develop the training plan for 2024.


Didn’t complete your IDP or have new training needs? Communicate your technical training needs directly to your ATTT and add them to your IDP today. We regularly pull updated information from the IDP tool and use it for direct email advertisement when applicable trainings are being held.


Want to get started right now? Here are some training resources already available:



Basic Pest Management Training


The Basic Pest Management Concepts class will be a full day, classroom training that will provide participants with a fundamental understanding of the principles and practices of a Pest Management Conservation System that incorporates the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) with natural resource conservation. IPM is a holistic approach to managing pests that combines various techniques to reduce pest populations while minimizing the impact on the environment, non-target organisms, and human health. Participants in this class will be able to:


  1. Develop improved competency to talk about pest management and issues with producer
  2. Know when to plan a pest management conservation system
  3. Understand situational dynamics related to pest management decision making


Topics covered during the classroom portion of the training will include: the conservation practice standard, CSP enhancements, resource concerns, required documentation, scouting and economic thresholds, insect and disease ID, pesticide application considerations, and the concept of weed and insect resistance.


This training is being offered in three locations, 9:00-3:30 each day:


  • January 9 – Farmington
  • January 10 – Redwood Falls
  • January 11 – Detroit Lakes


Additional information and a link to register can be found here.


Basic Hydrology Training


The Technical Training and Certification Program is offering Basic Hydrology training as an online, two part webinar on January 23 at 9:00-11:00 and January 25 at 9:00-11:00. Attendees should attend both sessions to complete the course. (This same course was given virtually in January and in person in July 2023. This is a repeat.)


This training will cover the basic concept of determining hydrology for common conservation practices. We will review concepts such as runoff, curve numbers, peak discharges, and hydrographs. Students will learn about reading contour maps and delineating watersheds through example problems. By the end of the two sessions students should be able to delineate a watershed as well as be able to obtain the values needed to determine a peak discharge from the delineated watershed using EFH2.


There is a prerequisite video as well as practice homework to be completed between the two sessions.


Additional information and a link to register 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

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

Nov 27

Annual Forages for Grazing Systems





Nov 28

History of Minnesota Forests, Online

Nov 29

Grassed Waterway EFT-WDT, Rochester





Dec 5

Kernza, Multipurpose Perennial Cover, Online





Jan 9-11

Basic Pest Management Concepts, Multiple Locations

Jan 23, 25

Basic Hydrology, Online


Related Partner Trainings



Nov 28-Nov 30

MN Watersheds Annual Convention, MN Watersheds, Alexandria




Dec 7-8

Soil Management Summit (formerly Conservation Tillage Conference), UMN Extension, Alexandria

Dec 11-13

MASWCD Annual Convention MN Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, 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 &