Join us at Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire, Michigan, October 28 – 30, 2019 for MACD’s annual Fall Convention!
We’ll enjoy a power-packed three days of workshops and educational sessions, plus the MACD annual meeting.
This event is one you won’t want to miss!

Monday October 28



Closing the Deal with Rural Landowners:  Part 1: Landowners and Their Perspective  Learn the tricks of the trade from the most successful conservation field people. If you want rural landowners to say “yes” to conservation practices and easements, this course is for you. In this Part 1: Landowners and Their Perspective, you will explore the demographics of rural landowners, and how they make decisions about conservation practices and easements.  Eric Eckl, Water Words that Work

SWCS Annual Meeting  All are welcome to attend the annual business meeting, with voting limited to Chapter members. Activities of the Chapter, Executive Council and Committees will be discussed.  SWCS Leadership

District Business Workshop: District Operations Manual – Your Management Tool  The Operations Manual frames the work of Conservation Districts and how they function.  This session will provide CD staff and board directors the opportunity to provide input on the new draft of operations handbook.  John Switzer, MDARD and Regional Coordinators


Forestry Assistance Program Mentoring  This session sets aside time and space for Forestry Assistance Program mentors and mentees to get together to have meaningful conversation face-to-face. This is not a mandatory session. It provides an opportunity for foresters to get together and discuss local issues and opportunities.  Ben Schram, MDARD



Opening Lunch and Keynote Address


Closing the Deal with Rural Landowners:  Part 2: Landowners and Their Perspective  In this session, you will learn how to cultivate your personal reputation among landowners and help them reach a decision to pursue a conservation on their property.  Eric Eckl, Water Words that Work

Northern Hardwood Canopy Gap Dynamics  A primer on northern hardwood gap management strategies, this session will discuss how forest biodiversity supports both sustainable forest management as well as ecosystem resilience and adaptability and what happens when traditional practices are no longer effective because of invasive species, market pressure and deer population impacts.  Evan Farinosi, PhD candidate, MSU Silviculture Laboratory

District Business Workshop: District Operations Manual – Your Management Tool continued   The Operations Manual frames the work of Conservation Districts and how they function. This session will provide CD staff and board directors the opportunity to provide input on the new draft of operations handbook.  John Switzer, MDARD and Regional Coordinators


Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) Field Trip: Fruit Production and Organic Farming in Northern Michigan Take a tour of a local farm to discuss fruit production, organic farming, and the proper disposal of wash water and waste material in Northern Michigan.  Dan Busby, MAEAP


District Director Roundtable  MACD Leadership will lead a conversation with Conservation District board members from across Michigan. This open facilitated discussion will provide the opportunity for directors to ask questions and discuss issues of importance.

Closing the Deal with Rural Landowners – Part 3: Persistence Pays — and So Customer Service  In this session, we explore how top field staff provide good customer service while managing an ever-expanding workload.

Forestry Assistance Program Roundtable  A facilitated forum for foresters, district managers, board members, and MDARD staff to share ideas and address concerns that are affecting local programs. The group will also share updates on the Forestry Assistance Program, including reporting, future trainings, and the general status of the program.

Farm Bill Biologist Roundtable

District Manager Roundtable  MACD Leadership will lead a conversation with Conservation District board members from across Michigan. This open facilitated discussion will provide the opportunity for directors to ask questions and discuss issues of importance.


MACD Region Meetings  MACD regional meetings will be held to discuss region business and resolutions coming before the membership at the MACD Annual Meeting. Region officer elections for Regions 2,4,6,8 and 10 will also take place. 


Conservation Partnership – Opening Reception  Catch up with your friends and colleagues at the Conservation Partnership Opening Night Reception, with hors d’oeuvres and cash bar provided. No Ticket Required

Tuesday October 29


Breakfast (ticket purchase required)


MACD Annual Meeting  The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts Annual Meeting is the annual business meeting of the Association. In addition to general business, officer elections, policy resolutions and bylaw amendments will be brought before the Assembly.

QuickBooks for Beginners  Learn the basics of QuickBooks and get your questions answered!  This session is facilitated by a Conservation District Manager with an Accounting degree. Learn best practices for using QuickBooks while meeting the requirements of your grants.

MAEAP Update


Hardwood Regeneration Field Trip  This field trip will showcase results from the MSU Silviculture Laboratory northern hardwood gap research study, highlighting the challenges faced by invasive species, market pressures and deer populations and the impacts on how northern hardwood forests develop and grow.

CTAI Field Trip


MACD Annual Meetingcontinued

MAEAP Standard Changes

Produce Safety Round Table

Advanced QuickBooks – Journal Ledgers, Tracking Mileage & Q/A  This will provide an overview of how to use journal entries and track mileage in QuickBooks. 

Critical Dunes


MACD Annual Meetingcontinued

Pros and Cons of Merchant Systems and Online Sales  Understand the Pros and Cons of Merchant Systems and use of online sales.  Learn from a panel of District Managers who will share their experience.  Panel Discussion

Community-based Scientific Discovery and Water Resource Management – Applications in Ottawa County and New Opportunities for Michigan  In recent years, a large team of researchers, community planners, and other stakeholders came together to address groundwater quantity (availability) and quality (salinity) concerns in Ottawa County, Michigan. The team worked together to compile data/knowledge of different types, qualities and resolutions (coverages) needed to develop computer-generated models of the subsurface that could provide a sound scientific understanding of the issues and the implications for long-term sustainability. The new insights gained from this collaborative environmental investigation are now being used for township- and county-level water resource management for coming decades. Importantly, much of the data used here are available across the state, and thus, the integrated approach can be applied elsewhere in Michigan.  Dr. Zachary Curtis, Hydrosimulatics Inc. and Paul Sachs, Ottawa County Planning Department

MAEAP Siting

Produce Safety Round Tablecontinued

Tuesday October 29 continued


Lunch and Conservation District Employees of Michigan Meeting and Awards  Enjoy lunch, celebrate employee achievement awards while learning more about CDEM. Winners of the annual poster contest will also be announced.  CDEM Officers


Conservation District State Funding – What’s Next?

Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework – Tentative

Best Practices for Accepting Gifts of Land, Easements and Buildings

Hemp and Recreational Marijuana? Can We Use Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework to Address MAEAP at This Hour?  The presentation could describe how to utilize the Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF), in conjunction with other inventory techniques, to identify potential locations for agricultural best management practices (BMP). The ACPF was developed by the Unites States Department of Agriculture and is a series of tools in the ArcMap environment that capitalize on high resolution LiDAR data. Specific crop field data, including crop type, fall tillage practices, spring residue, proximity of crop fields to water bodies, and presence of filter strips, is collected and used along with the ACPF data to prioritize crop fields for BMP implementation. In addition to the specific crop field data, all livestock operations within the watershed are located and evaluated for potential water quality impacts. 

Construction Inspection – The Basics


CISMA Field Trip – Tentative

Habitat Equipment Demo Field Trip – Tentative


The New MACD Website

How to be a Great Legislative Advocate for Your Cause

Farmer-led Conservation in the WLEB

Web-based Mapping Analysis Tools to Assist with Conservation Assessment and Planning Support. Learning, Using and Sharing.

Overview of the Produce Safety Program

Construction Inspection – Deep Dive


Smart Management of Microplastic Pollution in the Great Lakes  The Smart Management of Microplastic Pollution in the Great Lakes project is addressing the immediate need to reduce microplastic pollution in the Great Lakes ecosystem through technology development and a targeted outreach and mitigation campaign. Attend this session to learn about the novel sensing technology that is under development to enable quantification and characterization of microplastics in water and how this project is deploying these sensors in two pilot testing sites, one in Ingham County and one in Oakland County to monitor microplastic inputs from different pollution sources.

Advanced Grant Writing

CD Youth and Adult Education Programs

Understanding County Government

How MAEAP and Produce Safety Correlate

CTAI – How to Work with CSP (CSP to Verification)


Banquet Reception, Banquet and Awards  Relax after a busy day with friends and colleagues at the banquet reception. Enjoy a great meal and celebrate the accomplishments of your colleagues during the Awards Program. Cash bar provided.

Wednesday October 30


Breakfast (ticket purchase required)


MAEAP Roundtable

CTAI’s as District Employees – Managing the Partnership

Helping Conservation Districts Manage Human Resources  It is important for Conservation Districts to operate in accordance with laws related to Human Resources. During this session you will get a basic understanding human resources needs and the applicable laws.

Writing Wildlife Plans

Successful Projects – (CDEM)  Panel Discussion

Impacts of Invasive Earthworms on Northern Hardwood Forests  Sugar maples are prized as much for their valuable lumber as for their sugary sap and dazzling fall colors. Recently, foresters have noticed that the crowns of big trees appear unhealthy and a change in the forest floor. While they may seem as American as maple syrup, no earthworms—including the nightcrawler—are native to the Upper Midwest (Michigan Tech News). Dr. Tara Bal discusses her research on invasive earthworm ecology and potential impacts to northern hardwood forests.  Dr. Tara Bal


CTAI Update and Roundtable

The Ins and Outs of Human Resource Policies  Building off the Helping Conservation Districts Manage Human Resources session, come learn about what you need to include in a personnel policy.

Proactive RTF Visits

Writing Wildlife Plans, continued

Native Alternatives to Common Non-Native Species

Deer Impacts on Hardwood Regeneration


Nutrient Management with Tom Wert

CTAI Database – Making Reports, CSP Input and More!

Human Resources – What Keeps You Up at Night? What Human resource issues, questions and concerns keep you up at night. This will provide an opportunity to ask questions to a panel of people who work in Human Resources. Panel Discussion: Stan Moore and Kris Hynes

DNR Habitat Grants  

Critical Dunes – Vegetative Removal Assurances

Even-Aged Management of Northern Hardwoods  Decades of thinning and selection system silviculture combined with a variety of other factors have led to local and regional challenges in the regeneration of northern hardwoods. Because this type can include mesic conifers and mid-tolerant hardwoods, regeneration of appropriate density and composition can be difficult. In this session, we will explore even-aged silvicultural methods for northern hardwoods that can lead to better regeneration success and diversity.  Jim Schmierer


Conference Concludes

*topics and speakers are subject to change


QuickBooks one-on-one appointments are available on a first come, first served basis.

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