Training News from BWSR

Train Tracks NEW

December 2023  

In this issue:


     BWSR is piloting a new, recurring training program to enhance the outreach skills of our LGU partners. LGUs should watch for an email in early January for more information.


    The Successful Outreach Strategies (SOS) training will align with outreach steps in event/program offerings by natural resource professionals requiring support/implementation from members of the public. The first online 90-minute training session will be offered in the morning of February 21st. SOS will be a hybrid training opportunity with online content training sessions to have an optional in-person event offering the following month. The optional in-person event provides participants with an opportunity to further explore the content and apply the content within their “real time real work” (examples include 1W1P, a specific BMP, encourage conservation sign-ups, etc.) in a setting that offers small group support from colleagues. If you have questions or would like to provide suggestions as to design and topics, please contact Barbara Radke at


Two Minute Training


      I recently participated in a training on community based social marketing. A few of my takeaways were:


  • While information is needed, information alone will not result in a behavior change to adopt a new practice. Information is a starting point but is not enough.
  • Face-to-face interaction is the most effective way of bringing about the behavior change to adopt a new practice and increases the potential for social diffusion.
  • One should also lead with benefits over barriers to change.
  • When there is a potential for savings, individuals are more motivated if the monetary amount is framed as a loss if they do not participate rather than a savings if they do participate.


Submitted by Barbara Radke/BWSR Training Coordinator


Training Success Story

      In November, MPCA and BWSR once again partnered to offer LGUs an opportunity to co-learn from their colleagues and network. Events were offered in New Ulm and Detroit Lakes. The morning provided an opportunity for attendees to network and get to know others doing similar natural resource work. The afternoon was designed to focus on specific topic discussions and an opportunity to receive input from colleagues on a specific topic an attendee is working on.


     Evaluations indicate that those who attended found the event very worthwhile with 98% agreeing they heard about other’s work which gave them new ideas for their own work. When asked what participants liked most about the day, comments included and “The fluidness and non-structured format allowed us to share our knowledge and be able to learn new things in casual conversation.” One of takeaways as a co-facilitator for the events, was the wealth of attendees’ knowledge in the room and being shared with other attendees.


Submitted by Barbara Radke/BWSR Training Coordinator


Technical Training & Certification Program Updates

Technical Training & Certification Program Logo

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.


Soil Mechanics Training


This course introduces performing field tests to classify soils using the Unified Soil Classification System. Two sessions will be held, one in Faribault on February 6, and one in Detroit Lakes on February 8. Participants are shown how to perform the field tests and classify various types of soil. Participants are provided soil samples to test, classify, and explain results. This training is the foundation for identifying soils based on texture and understanding physical soil properties as they pertain to conservation engineering design.


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


Kernza, Multipurpose Perennial Cover


Would you like to learn more about Kernza, a perennial grass that can be used as a source of grain and for livestock forage? TTCP recently hosted a webinar featuring leaders in Kernza development and adoption. Topics covered include:


  • Agronomics
  • Conservation benefits
  • Policy changes
  • Commercialization and marketing


This session ends with a presentation from a dry land farmer that successfully adopted perennials on his entire operation, and he share some of his successes and struggles. A replay of this informative session can be found here.


Shared Training Calendar


We are in the process of developing our 2024 Training Plan and Calendar. By early January we plan to have an updated shared training calendar available for 2024. This 12-month view of training offerings is regularly updated and provides information about upcoming training events, including potential dates and locations.


Upcoming Training Events

BWSR Sponsored Training Events


Feb 21

Hold the date for Successful Outreach Strategies for LGUs offered by BWSR

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



Did you miss a Tech Talk? A full listing of replays from 2023 can be found here.


Jan 22

Seed Calculator Revisions

Feb 12

Updated Engineering Practice Standards





Jan 9-11

Basic Pest Management Concepts, Multiple Locations

Jan 23, 25

Basic Hydrology, Online





Feb 6

Soil Mechanics 1 (SM-1), Faribault

Feb 8

Soil Mechanics 1 (SM-1), Detroit Lakes


Related Partner Trainings



Jan 17, 24

High Tunnel Webinar Series, Renewing the Countryside, Online

Jan 31-Feb 1

Minnesota Erosion Control Annual Conference, MECA, Plymouth


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 &