Virtual Training Blitz

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Your leadership at the VASWCD remains committed to serving our SWCDs and continues to adapt programs and efforts to further conservation work during COVID-19.

Register below for the many no-cost trainings and networking opportunities to be offered online via Zoom for directors, staff and partners. Registration details below continue to be finalized. Resources included recordings and presentations from past trainings are provided below. Check back regularly as training and registration links are added.

Upcoming Virtual Trainings/Meetings:

Advanced QuickBooks Training – More details/description to come. Learn more about this opportunity and provide training input on the upcoming Admin/Ops Mtg.

Website Training – More details/description to come. Join one or all training sessions to gain knowledge on website best practices.

  • October 5, 2021 – 10:00AM-11:30AM – Website Best Practices – This session will cover general website best practices including value of a website, platform considerations, security, search engine optimization, mobile friendly efforts, Google Analytics, photo optimization, visually pleasing designs, navigation, and more. Register for the zoom training at
  • October 12, 2021 – 10:00AM-11:30AM – WordPress Beginner Training – Attendees will leave the training knowing how to create a free website at and better understand the WordPress platform. Topics will include creating an account, choosing a theme, managing user roles/permissions, security, understanding the dashboard, creating pages, creating written content, making text updates, developing the navigation menu, formatting, creating headings/bullets/numbered lists, internal site linking, adding media, and more. Register for the zoom at
  • October 19, 2021 – 10:00AM-11:30AM – WordPress Advanced Training – This training will be based on self hosted WordPress websites and will cover methods to take WordPress to the next level. Topics include choosing a host, choosing a theme, choosing and installing plugins with recommendations, maintenance and security, optimizing images, considering a blog, adding videos, e-commerce, email capture process, photo or application submissions, working with widgets, deeper use of search engine optimization. Register for the zoom at

October 7, 2021 – 9:00AM – Annual Meeting/Training Committee – The VASWCD Annual Meeting and training committee will convene to discuss training topics and prepare for the December virtual Annual Meeting. Register for the zoom at

October 13, 2021 – 1:00PM – Admin/Ops Committee Meeting: Personnel Topics with Terri Higgins – Join the admin/ops meeting to discuss topics with Terri Higgins, Senior HR Specialist with Henrico County and Associate Director. Terri will speak to new overtime rules, COVID protocols and more. Be on the lookout for Terri’s first email news blast with helpful HR tips prior to this session and come ready to discuss. This meeting will also review our partnership agreement with Terri and serve as the official introduction and roll out of retainer hours. Other agenda items will include a debrief of QuickBooks training and CPA retainer hours. Register and submit any questions in advance at

November 10, 2021 – 1:00PM-4:00PMIRS Form 1099 & Financial Training – Benefit from our 1099 training and tax law update. Training will be provided by Sarah Adams of Adams & Company, a certified public accounting firm serving Southwest Virginia since 1989, is committed to providing enhanced quality personalized service in the areas of tax, accounting, payroll services, estate planning, technology consulting, management consulting, and budgeting & planning. Register at

November 2021- Area Meetings – All winter area meetings will shift into a virtual format. VASWCD staff will work with Area Chairs to plan and coordinate these zoom meetings. More details forthcoming.

December 6, 2021 – December 7, 2021 – VASWCD Virtual Annual Meeting – With continued COVID concerns, we will hold our annual meeting once again in a virtual format. There will be no fee to participate but zoom registration will be required. On Monday, December 6 the Foundation and Association will hold its quarterly board meeting in the AM. In the afternoon, a general session is being planned with keynote to interest directors, staff and partners. On Tuesday, December 7 all are invited to join for an AM general session and awards presentation. In the afternoon we will hold our membership meeting. As a reminder, all elected and appointed directors are voting members of the Association and requested to attend the membership meeting. A draft agenda is available here and more information will be posted in coming weeks.

Check back soon as training plans for Soil Health are being finalized for this fall.

Past Virtual Training Resources:

September 8, 2020 – 9:30AM-11:30AM (2 CEUs)
Technical: Ag Waste Management – Trainer: Amanda Pennington, DCR
Training Video Available on YouTube Video for Viewing: 

September 15, 2020 – 9:30AM-12:30PM (2 CEUs)
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Training – Trainer:  Pastor Guy Johnson
Training Video Available on YouTube for Viewing:    Click here for the PowerPoint

September 22, 2020 – 9:30AM-10:30AM
New Employee Meet & Greet (All Employees Welcome) – Facilitator: Tabbea Zimmerman, Colonial SWCD 
Training Video Available on YouTube for Viewing:

September 24, 2020 – 9:00AM-11:00AM (2 CEUs)
Technical: Pasture Condition Score – Trainer: JB Daniels, NRCS
Training Video Available on YouTube for Viewing:

Click here for Pasture Condition Score PDF Slideshow: Plant List:

September 28, 2020 – 9:30AM-11:30AM & 12:30-2:30PM (4 Conservation Planning CEUs & 4 Nutrient Management CEUs – Must Attend AM & PM)
Technical: AM Portion – Erosion Fundamentals (RUSLE2 Background)/PM Portion – Assessing Sheet & Rill Erosion with RUSLE2 (Running RUSLE2) – Trainer: Chris Lawrence, NRCS
Training Video Available on YouTube for Viewing:

October 6, 2020 – 9:00AM-11:00AM (2 CEUs)
Technical: Grazing Plan Development – Trainer: JB Daniels, NRCS
Training Video Available on YouTube for Viewing: 

GoogleDrive Link of Training Materials Provided. Dropbox Link of Training Materials Provided.

October 7, 2020 – 10:00AM-11:30AM
Personnel Management Training – Trainer: Terri Higgins, HR Specialist
Materials posted on our COVID-19 resource page. Training video available on YouTube Video:  

October 7, 2020 – Private Appointment w/ Terri Higgins to discuss personnel topics specific to your SWCD

October 13, 2020 – 10:00AM-12:00PM
Education Outreach: COVID-19 Programming Shifts & Success Stories – Panelists: Tim Miller, Mountain Castles SWCD, Ashley Palmer, Northern VA SWCD; Lindy Durham, Henricopolis SWCD; Elizabeth Bennett, Tazewell SWCD; Elise Corbin, Peter Francisco SWCD; Julie Head, Eastern Shore SWCD
Click here for Training Video     Click here for power point presentations

October 20, 2020 – 10:00AM-11:30AM
Education Outreach: Water Conservation & Literature – Trainer: Julie Head, Eastern Shore SWCD
Click here for Training Video  Click here for power point presentation         

October 27, 2020 – 1:00PM-3:00PM
VA Ag Cost Share (VACS) Program 101 – Targeted for Directors but also Open to Staff – Trainers: David Bryan, DCR
Click here for a video recording of the session; Click here here for a PDF version of the presentation.

October 29, 2020 – 9:00AM-10:00AM (1 CEU)
Ensuring Your Conservation Efforts Live On: Legacy Planning for Farm & Forest Owners – Trainers: Andrew Fotinos, DOF Forestland Conservation Specialist; Bill Worrell, VCE Forester; Adam Downing, VCE Forester
Click here for a video recording of the session.

November 11, 2020 – 7:00PM-8:00PM
Director Meet & Greet – Structured socialization with other Directors. Veteran Directors are asked to attend but newbies are strongly encouraged. Registration and Session Details: 

November 16, 2020 – 9:00AM-11:00AM
Technical Part I (DNH AM Session): Virginia Rare, Threatened & Endangered Species Protection (4 Conservation Planning CEUs – Must Part I, II & III). Click here for a PDF of the slideshow. Click here for a video of the training.

November 16, 2020 – 1:00PM-3:00PM
Technical Part II (DWR PM Session): Virginia Rare, Threatened & Endangered Species Protection (4 Conservation Planning CEUs – Must Part I, II & III). Click here for a PDF of the slideshow. Click here for a video of the training.

November 17, 2020 – 9:00AM-11:00AM
Technical Part III (DHR Session): Virginia Cultural & Historic Resources Protection (4 Conservation Planning CEUs – Must Part I, II & III). Click here for a PDF of the slideshow. Click here for a video of the training.

December 2, 2020 – 9:00AM-10:30AM
VCAP: Identifying Resource Concerns, FAQ, & Local Funding Discussion. Click here for a video recording of the training. Click here for a PDF of the slideshow.

December 7, 2020 – 9:30AM-12:30PM
VASWCD Quarterly Board Meeting. The VASWCD Executive Board and Area Chairs comprise the VASWCD Board. The Board will hold its quarterly board meeting at 9:30. A video recording of this meeting can be found here.

Quarterly Board Meeting Materials: [Quarterly Board Agenda 12.7.20 Updated 12.4.20] [Educational Foundation Board Meeting September Minutes] [Foundation Treasurer Report] [Beals Investment Report] [Foundation Investment Report] [Chaffin Investment Report] [Association Minutes from September 2020] [Association Treasurer Report] [Association Investment Report] [Association Pipeline Investment Report] [Marketing Committee Toolkit Resource] [Area I Report] [Area III Report] [Area IV Report] [Area V Report] [Area VI Report][Proposed VASWCD Legislative Agenda] [Soil Health Policy Proposal] [Non Discrimination Policy Proposal] [NACD Report] [Federal Legislative Report] [VASWCD & VASWCDEF Nomination Committee Report] [VACDE Report] [VDACS Report] [DCR Soil & Water Division Report]

December 7, 2020 – 2:00PM-4:30PM
VASWCD Annual Membership Meeting. All Directors are voting members. A video recording of the meeting can be found here. Approved Materials during the membership meeting [Posted 12.11.20]: [2021 Legislative Agenda Approved][Approved Non-discrimination policy] [Approved Soil Health Policy] [FYI: Awards Announcement & Memorial Slideshow PPT]

Business Meeting Materials for Review and/or Approval [As of 12.4.2020]: [Familiarize yourself with VASWCD Zoom Guidance PPT]Business Meeting Agenda Posted 12.4.20]  [December 2019 Business Meeting Minutes for Approval][Motions for Approval] [Assn Budget] [Nominating Committee Report] [2021 Draft Legislative Agenda] [Soil Healthy Policy Proposal][Non Discrimination Policy Proposal] [Marketing Committee Toolkit Report] [NACD Report] [Federal Legislative Report][VASWCD & VASWCDEF Nomination Committee Report]

December 8, 2020 – 9:00AM-11:00AM
VA Conservation District Employee (VACDE) Winter Meeting. 

December 15, 2020 – 3:00PM-4:00PM
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Training – Meets Code of VA Training Requirements. Targeted for Directors but also Open to Staff – Trainers: Alan Gernhardt, FOIA Council.  Click here for the video recording  Click here for the PPT presentation for Local Elected Officials.pptx

January 6, 2021 – 10:00AM-11:30AM
Partner Agency Panel Updates and Q&A – Confirmed Speakers: Director Clyde Cristman, VA Department of Conservation & Recreation; Director Dave Paylor, VA Department of Environmental Quality; State Conservationist Dr. Edwin Martinez, Natural Resource Conservation Service and Michael Crowder, National Assn of Conservation District (NACD) President-Elect. Click here for a video recording.

Presentation Materials: [DCR Presentation] [NRCS Presentation] [Virginia NRCS Programs Report] [Virginia Trees for Clean Water Reqest for Proposal]

January 7, 2021 – 10:00AM-11:30AM
Legislative Training: Understanding the Legislative Process, the Work of your VASWCD & the SWCD Role and Impact. Hear from Delegate Ken Plum with General Assembly Insights. Click here for a video recording. Click here for a copy of today’s presentation.

January 8, 2021 –10:00AM-11:30AM
Chesapeake Bay Best Management Practices (BMP) Survey Effort. This is a large scale, multi-agency partnership that has been underway for over a year.  The survey is scheduled to be released on January 11. The information obtained via this survey will help Virginia tell the story of what farmers are doing to conserve soil and improve water quality. This is important information that can help agriculture achieve its water quality goals for the Watershed Implementation Plan for the Chesapeake Bay. This training will help build your capacity to assist producers should they agree to complete the survey and have questions during the process.  The training will include presentations by members of Virginia’s Voluntary Ag BMPs Task Force and provide:  an overview of the project, survey preview, an outline of the process going forward, and FAQ.  If you serve ag producers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, I encourage you to review this presentation.  Access information about the survey at  

January 13, 2021 –10:00AM-11:00AM
Marketing & Outreach: Maximizing Online Presence using the VASWCD Marketing Toolkit. A recording of this session can be found here

A copy of the Marketing Tookit can be found here. This resource will also be posted under the “SWCD Resources” tab on our website soon. 

January 20, 2021 –1:00PM-2:00PM
Ag BMP Loan Program Info – DEQ & VA Foodshed Capital. A recording of this training can be found here. [DEQ Presentation] [VA Foodshed Capital Presentation]. [DEQ County List]

March 3, 2021 – 9:00AM-12:00PM – Cover Crop Training (2 Conservation Planning CEUs & 2 Nutrient Management CEUs)
Join for a session focused on cover crops fundamentals, principles and practice. Chris Lawrence, NRCS will provide key cover crop information weaving in opportunities for questions from audience and a live interview/testimonial from Bob Waring, DCR staffer and producer. The final portion of the agenda will include a presentation from David Bryan for a better understanding of VACS cover crop-related BMPs, focusing on the SL-8B practice. Session is open to all Directors, Associate Directors, Staff & Partners. New Directors and staff are strongly encouraged to attend. Two Conservation Planning CEUs offered. Two Nutrient Management CEUs offered. A recording of this session can be found here. Additional Materials can be found below:

March 2021 – Video Creation Workshop: Three part series
This session is one of a three part series. Topics covered: Learn tips on how to shoot good videos, learn tools to start shooting your videos, and learn what type of equipment you will need to shoot your videos. Learn how to edit and upload videos and more. This three part series is available by directly contacting VASWCD staff.

April 7, 2021 – 1:00PM-4:00PMNutrient Management & Precision Ag (2 Conservation Planner CEUS, Nutrient Management CEUs will be available)
Nutrient Management & Precision Ag Training. Learn about nutrient management and precision ag principles thru an interactive case study approach with speakers Chris Lawrence of NRCS and Brandon Farms. Session will wrap up with David Bryan, DCR’s Agricultural Incentives Program Manager, who will provide an overview of the precision nutrient management practices available through the VACS Program, focusing on the differences between NM-3C, NM-4 and NM-5N options for nitrogen applications. A recording of this session can be found here. Copies of the presentations can be found below:

Lawrence NMP Webinar Slides (Dropbox File)

Lawrence NMP Webinar Slides (Google Drive File)

DCR Precision Nutrient Management Training Slides

April 9, 2021 – 9:00AM-12:00PM – Soil & Water Conservation Society
The Role of Professional Societies Across Your Career: Soil & Water Conservation Society (SWCS) Virtual Spring Meeting. Open to all. Directors, Associate Directors and staff encouraged to attend. Meet some key players in Virginia’s soil and water conservation field and learn more about what the SWCS has to offer. Meeting recording available at:

May 4, 2021 – 1:00PM-2:00PM – Admin/Ops Topic: Attachment D
This session will cover admin/ops topics including a review of the Attachment D budget template process required of your local SWCD board by July 15. Meeting recording available shortly. Meeting recording available at:

May 27, 2021 – 3:00PM – 4:00PM – NRCS-SWCD MOA Overview w/ Dr. Martinez – The VASWCD is hosting a zoom session for SWCDs to learn more about the NRCS-SWCD Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and Unfunded Cooperative Agreement (UCA) process. NRCS State Conservationist, Dr. Martinez, and key NRCS staff will provide an overview of this collaborative effort and steps taken to successfully complete this task in Virginia. NRCS has started meeting with Virginia district conservationists to outline the process developed to complete this task as efficiently as possible. Those conversations will address expectations for partnership activities and the importance of the NRCS team working hand in hand with districts to fulfill MOA and Unfunded Cooperative Agreement (UCA) obligations. Join this conversation to gain a better understanding of the MOA, an overview of language, and the path forward for your local district. Though this session will be recorded, we recommend that you consider having a representative in attendance to better understand the process, roles, and requirements for finalizing your local MOAs. Each local SWCD will be working through this MOA process and your participation in this discussion is important. Video available on YouTube for viewing

June 9, 2021 – 10-11AMOverview of the New District Guide to VCAP -Join us for a short training session where we will review the *new* “District Guide to VCAP” document and take a look at some beautiful BMPs, virtually. Learn how you can utilize this new document in your District for new staff, directors, or those just looking for a refresh on VCAP! Reach out to with any questions. View a video recording of this training session here.

June 17, 2021 – 11:00AM – 12:30PM – Admin/Ops Committee Meeting – The Admin/Ops committee will hold its next meeting on June 17 to discuss topics including but not limited to: Continued COVID topics (ex. State of Emergency order and relation to electronic meetings, teleworking policies, office policies and changes, etc), NRCS-SWCD MOA follow-up conversation, Brim & Associates CPA presentation and retainer hours.

June 24, 2021 – 9:00AM – VASWCD Educational Foundation & Association Quarterly Board Meeting. This meeting will be held virtually due to continued health concerns. The meeting will begin with the Foundation Agenda followed by the business of the Association. Register for this meeting: Materials will be posted as available at

July Series – Conservation Selling Skills: Water Words that Work
Contact VASWCD staff for resources from this three part workshop designed for people who need to communicate with public audiences about water resources, watershed management, and land conservation. Make a splash with your words and pictures! Relearn the language that everyday citizens use and become more confident and successful with your outreach. This course provides unique insights into what words and pictures turn your audience on, and off. For those who train in different disciplines, environmental writing for everyday citizens can be a frustrating challenge, but the Water Words That Work message method makes it easier to succeed. It’s designed to turn those blank stares into nodding heads–to turn passive “environmental awareness” into pro-environmental behavior. These methods will help you create and deliver messages that will reach your target audience and inspire them to action. This is part of the DCR Conservation Planner certification program and attendance to all 3 sessions counts as Conservation Selling Skills. Hosted by VASWCD in partnership with DCR and WWW. Register for each session separately.

  • July 6, 2021 – 9:00AM-11:00AM – Part 1. The Perils of Preaching to the Choir. You will discover how to spot the signs of “preaching to the choir” and recognize when you are sending messages that miss the mark or antagonize your audience.
  • July 8, 2021 – 9:00AM-11:00AM – Part 2. The Environmental Message Method. You will learn a proven step-by-step method to translate professional-caliber information into messages for the general public.
  • July 13, 2021 – 1:00PM-3:00PM – Part 3. The Environmental Message Method. You will discover techniques for getting others to vouch for you and you will learn how to scientifically measure how easy or difficult your writing is to read.

August Series – Beginner QuickBooks Training – Contact VASWCD staff for resources and recording for this two part training held from 1:00pm-3:00pm on August 3 and August 5. Advanced QuickBooks training series scheduled for September 2021 will build off these sessions.