Dozens of breakout sessions highlight the agenda for the 2014 conference of the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association to be held at the Paper Valley Hotel on Monday-Wednesday, March 10-12. Some of them will relate directly to on-farm practices.
Following registration and a WLWCA board meeting on the morning of March 10, there will be a noon buffet with an accompanying conference welcome and a keynote address which Wisconsin state senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) has been invited to present.
Topics for breakout sessions on the opening afternoon of the conference include "When a Barnyard is out of Compliance" for protecting water quality, obtaining grassroots support for county conservation departments, funding for some technology products and processes, and techniques for reducing the pollutant load to the environment.
Starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, March 11, the first round of the morning's breakout sessions will have presentations on rotational grazing, protecting soil health, preserving and protecting rural roads as farm vehicle load weights increase, and additional sources of funding for county conservation programs.
Topics for the second round of the morning's breakout sessions will be a review of the latest waste management standards, water conservation on dairy farms and for irrigated agriculture, getting the natural resource conservation message to youth, and planning for Concentrated Animal Feed Operations with a particular focus on Kewaunee County.
For the first afternoon sessions on March 11, the topics will be county experiences with a 50-foot buffer rule in Minnesota, funding sources for county departments, state and federal agency coordination on the 590 standards, mapping techniques and programs, and a repeat of the morning session on conservation photography techniques.
The day's breakout sessions wrap up in the latter half of the afternoon with presentations on shoreland zoning, the value of stream monitoring by volunteers for county data compilation, SnapPlus 2 training, and an overview of the WLWCA for new county board supervisors.
On the morning of March 12, the first round of breakout sessions will consider the managing of nitrates in groundwater, the exploration of partnerships between lake groups, the implementation of Wisconsin's revised Farmland Preservation Program, the creation of conversations by using the social media, and maintaining the authority of land conservation committees and departments amid county government restructuring and tight budgets.
The conference's breakout sessions wind up in the second half of the morning with presentations on a nutrient reduction strategy for Wisconsin, local government ordinances on industrial sand mining, phosphorus loadings from municipal wastewater treatment plants, and the state's elk restoration project.
Special events offered during the conference include tours of the Wisconsin Museum of International Wildlife, the Paper Discovery Center, and the Hearthstone Historic House Museum and special training, for extra fees, on communications (provided by Fox Valley Technical College) and on controlling erosion at construction sites. There will also be a silent auction to support youth programs.
Numerous public and a few private entities are sponsors and contributors to the conference. Other potential sponsors are invited to call 608-441-2677 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The reservation deadline for attending the conference is Monday, Feb. 10. Information about conference attendance packages and fees is available on the www.wlwca.org/conference.html website.