Conference Information

Date: June 4 - 5, 2018

Location: Bay City, DoubleTree by Hilton

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Tuesday Session Descriptions

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Monday Schedule and Descriptions


9:00 - 11:00am 
MAEAP Database 101 for New Users
This session is geared towards MAEAP and CTAI Technicians and District Managers that have not previously attended a 101 session. This will be an introduction to how to enter data and provide important information about the purpose and functionality of the database.

QuickBooks for Beginners
This hands-on workshop will provide new users with an overview of QuickBooks. Topics include how to get around in QuickBooks, how classes work, reports for boards, bank reconciliation, and other basics new users need to understand. Please bring your laptop with QuickBooks loaded. ______________________________________________________________________


11:15 - 12:40pm   Opening Lunch and Conservation Presentation

A celebratory lunch to honor Hugh Hammond Bennett, the father of the soil conservation movement, and today's conservation Star Award heroes.

1:00 - 2:00pm    General Session
Conservation Partnership Program Updates
Michigan Conservation Partnership members, including MACD, MDARD and NRCS will provide updates on activities and issues of importance to all members of the Partnership.

2:15 - 3:15pm    Breakout Sessions A
CD success Stories Across the State
"Stuck in a rut? Come hear about programs and events taking place in Conservation Districts around the State. We'll provide you with the details on how they make it work and how to get them started in YOUR District!"

Your Land, Your Options
Come to this session to learn a unique system created by the founder of Landowners’ Planning and Resource Group, LLC. The method brings to light unique land wealth preservation options property owners can discuss with their family and professional advisors, both legal and financial. This presentation will provide a broad overview of how Michigan’s past homestead act, private property rights, competing forces, state’s planning structure, current laws, and successive planning, all make it complex for landowners to achieve their personal land-use objectives. How can we help when it all seems so challenging?   

Effective Communications with Policy Makers
Timely and effective communication with legislators is key to influencing public policy.  This session will focus on the appropriate strategies for building a relationship with your leiglsators that focuses on trust and reliability. 

Assisting Landowners with Invasive Species Issues
Landowners can face wide-ranging challenges with invasive species. It’s nearly impossible to be an expert MAEAP Tech, Farm Bill Biologist, CTAI, or FAP Forester AND an expert on every invasive species issue. However, having an understanding of the most problematic species, available resources and overall management strategies can greatly enhance your ability to assist landowners in overcoming these challenges. This session will cover key species affecting agriculture, open space and forest lands, available state and local resources, and highlight some unique challenges for these settings.

MI Shoreland Stewards Program: A Tool for Assisting Lake Associations
Are you looking for a way to promote healthy landscaping for inland lakes in your area?  Participants will learn what the MI Shoreland Stewards Program is, how individual property owners can use it to rate their property and ideas on how to assist lake groups in using the program to promote good stewardship and recognize their members.

Web-based Mapping Analysis Tools to Assist Farmers with Conservation Assessment and Planning Support 
Web-based tools greatly enhance conservation assessment and planning activities. Learn from your co-workers about the Great Lakes Watershed Management System (GLWMS) and the Sensitive Areas Identification System (SAIS) through the following discussions: 
1. Utilizing the GLWMS, Great Lakes Watershed Management System, Getting Started        and Early Successes.
2. Employing the GLWMS Operationally with Farmers to Guide Field Practice Selection,      Estimation of Benefits, and Accumulation of Results. 
3. Groundwater Recharge (GWR) Goal Setting for Saginaw Bay Watershed and                  Assessing the Impact of GWR Practices Using the GLWMS. 
4. Using the State Wide SAIS Sensitive Areas Identification System to Assess Field            Practices and Connect to NRCS.

3:30 - 4:30pm   Break and Community Conversations
Community Conversations 
Join a conversation to learn more about the challenges, opportunities, tools and programs that your fellow conservation community partners are engaged in. Conversation starters will be provided in “pods” throughout the venue to help participants meet someone new, build networks, or catch up with old friends around topics of similar interest.

3:30 - 5:45pm    Star of the West Bus Tour
Join us for a tour Star of the West - Richville Agronomy facility. Learn about what it takes to put together a fertilizer prescription for a crop using GPS soil testing and help farm with a variable rate application. Network with Ag industry, Conservation District and partner staff.

4:30 - 5:30pm   Breakout Sessions B 
MDEQ Non-Point Source Grant Opportunities
Learn about Michigan’s Nonpoint Source Program, eligible grant activities, updates to this year’s Request for Proposals, and some helpful tips to consider when preparing a proposal.

The Conservation Partnership: NRCS Leadership
USDA, NRCS, States, TG, and Districts enter into agreements that establish partnerships to carry out common goals and objectives to conserve and develop the Nation’s natural resources. These partnerships depend on the mutual understanding of shared and separate responsibilities. It is important that each partner communicate with the other partners on matters of mutual concern as effective partnerships are the result of continuing cooperation.  Leadership from the Natural Resources Conservation Service will discuss the Conservation Partnership and managing effectively conservation operations out of the county USDA Field Office. All  positions; Federal Staff, The Local District Staff and MNDRD funded employee must work together to play this  important role in carrying out a resource management program at the local level.  This Session will focus on how to have a sound and effective local program that’s  coordinated  jointly to achieve effective  resource management. 

Know Your Audience: Having a Social Media Strategy to Reach the Right People
Social media is packed with messages trying to reach a lot of different people. How do you make sure your message reaches your audience? Join Meredith Smith and Julie Spencer as they help you navigate the mine field of social media, specifically Facebook. They will show you how to find your audience, what content you should post, and help you create a strategy that will bring in more likes!  

Conservation Easements
A conservation easement is created when the landowner transfers some or all rights to develop the property to a government agency or qualified conservation non-governmental organization (NGO). The government agency or conservation organization, as the owner of the easement, has the legal right to block incompatible uses of the land. In this session we learn from Elan Lipschitz, Director of Land Conservation at The Little Forks Conservancy, about why landowners participate in conservation easements and how conservation districts might play a role in promoting easement opportunities.

Directing for Success
As a Director one of the most important responsibilities you have is to prepare an effective plan which guides the Districts conservation program. Join Steve Law, MACD Assistant for Capacity Building, in an exploration of the process of preparing an excellent and community supported Long Range Plan of Work. See how the process used in preparing the plan is as important as the product itself. If your District Directors and Staff feel like you are struggling, short of funds, lacking in support from local leaders, then this session is just what the Doctor ordered!
Flowering Rush and Other Invasive Species in the Saginaw Bay Watershed
Flowering rush had been found in the Shiawassee State Game Area and the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge previous to the flowering rush early detection project. To gather a better understanding on where other infestations of this invasive species are located, a survey crew spent the summer of 2017 kayaking from St. Charles to the Saginaw Bay. The presentation will focus on this project, highlighting, not only the harmful effects of flowering rush, but a few other invasive species located in the Saginaw Bay Watershed.