Training Resource Library

Training topics chosen previously have included financial matters, IT issues, parliamentary procedures, efficient meeting management, and personnel management. If you have a topic or a speaker that you would like to recommend for a future training, please contact VASWCD staff. Below find a resource library of past virtual trainings and materials.

2023 Virtual Training Resources:

July 18, 2023 – WIP14 Interagency Training – This training is for all staff that work with the Agricultural Community in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The event provides each partner the opportunity to highlight who they are and how they interact with the ag sector. Participants will gain a better understanding of the resources available to assist their clients in reaching conservation goals. Presentations are available from the Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Department of Environmental Quality, Virginia Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts, Virginia Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services, and Natural Resource Conservation Service. Access the recording of the training at:

July 11, 2023 – VCAP Program Year Updates – Learn more about new resources and changes for the Virginia Conservation Assistance Program for FY24 implementation. Access the training at:

April 12, 2023 – Human Resource Trends – Hear about HR trends for 2023 from a local government expert. Topics include: Recruitment, Employee Well Being, Employment Turnover, and Training & Development. Access recording of training at at

2022 Virtual Training Resources:

September 30 – Attachment E Training – Access recording of the training at Materials and templates/resources shared are available by request.

September 29 – VACS Training – A Virginia Agriculture Cost Share program overview was provided via zoom. Review the training at Powerpoint slides from the training can be found at

July 22 – NRCS Earth Team Training – Highlighting the partnership possibilities with the Earth Team program. View the training on our YouTube page at

July 6 – Virtual VCAP Manual Updates – The new FY VCAP manual changes and programmatic items will be reviewed. View this training on our YouTube page at

June 22 – Admin/Ops Committee: Salary/Benefits Study – In June 2022 all districts received a survey request to participate in a Salary/Benefit study being conducted with the help of Terri Higgins, the HR Professional the VASWCD has on retainer for SWCDs. Data from all 47 SWCDs is provided in aggregate form and provides valuable data insights to districts.   View the training here .  Salary Survey Results . SWCD Total Compensation . Survey Results PPT

June 15, 2022 – Urban Ag Training – Hear from different partners including NRCS, DOF, VASWCD, and more about urban agriculture efforts underway. Available on the VASWCD YouTube page at

June 14, 2022 – VCAP Training Back to Basics: How to Conduct a Site Visit/What BMP Where – Review VCAP site visit guidance and tips. View the training on YouTube at

June 8, 2022 – The Conservation Selling Skills course, as part of DCR Conservation Planner Certification, was held virtually on June 8 from 10 am to 12 noon. This course was conducted by former NRCS District Conservationist and farmer, Bobby Whitescarver.  Learn how to sell conservation from the farmer’s perspective. Conservation is not science, it’s sociology. This course covers seven key principles for successful implementation of BMPs. Building trust, mastering the processes, and keeping it simple are three of those principles. Join us on June 8 to improve your selling skills to get more conservation on the ground.  This training is being held in partnership between VASWCD and DCR. Training is open to all Directors, Staff, and partners – not just those seeking conservation planning certification. View the training here:   

March 2, 2022 – 10:00AM-11:00AM – CAST Training for SWCDs – Don’t be fooled, CAST (Chesapeake Bay Assessment Scenario Tool) isn’t daunting. This training will break down and review CAST Reporting tools so you can find value to your local SWCD. During this class we will go over the Loads Report, how to generate one and how to analyze it. We will create this Loads Report at the SWCD scale so you can see data that directly affects areas in your district. Questions and interaction will be encouraged during this session. FYI – The Loads Report is typically the most used report from CAST. You will learn how to create a basic Loads report which will provide the basis for creating other reports. Prior to this class, please create an account with CAST if you do not have one currently. View the training at  

February 9, 2022 – 10:00AM-11:00AM – Soil Health Coalition/4theSoil Training –Ideal session for SWCD staff, directors and partners. Meeting Goals include: introduce the Virginia Soil Health Coalition, Present 4theSoil Initiative goals, message and audience, Share efforts/activities to date regarding 4theSoil Initiative, Discuss opportunities of Potential Application of 4theSoil within SWCDs. View the training at

2021 VASWCD Virtual Annual Meeting Recording

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Though it is unfortunate we were not able to gather in 2021 at an in-person conference together, we look forward to next December 4-6th, 2022 at Hotel Roanoke where we will be able to reunite!

Below find details from our 2021 virtual annual meeting including keynote sessions from Ray Ledgerwood and Jones Loflin. A recording of the Tuesday membership business meeting is also available for viewing. A district gift including a copy of keynote speaker Jones Loflin’s book “Always Growing: How to Be a Strong Leader in Any Season” was mailed to each district office. If you have questions about past virtual resources please contact VASWCD staff.

Time:Session:Recording Info:
Monday, December 6

VASWCD Educational Foundation & VASWCD Quarterly Business Meeting
The VASWCD Board Meeting is open to all attendees, not just board members. Attend and learn more about the activities of your Association and its Foundation.

Learn more about the action items – including the proposed VASWCD 2022 Legislative Agenda – that will be brought before the annual membership meeting.

Board Meeting Materials: [Association/Foundation Agenda] [September 2021 Foundation Meeting Minutes] [Foundation Treasurer Report] [September 2021 Association Meeting Minutes] [Association Treasurer Report[Area 1 Report] [Proposed 2022 Legislative Agenda] [Policy Book for Review and Renewal] [Nominations Committee Report] [NACD Report] [DCR Report].
Monday, December 6 2:00PM-4:00PM
Annual Meeting General Session
State of the Association/Foundation address. Clean Water Farm Award Presentation. Earth Team Award Presentation.

Keynote comments from invited speaker Ray Ledgerwood, an acclaimed speaker having worked with our National Association of Conservation Districts.

Join for an interactive keynote “Vision Virginia Conservation Tens Years from Now” built on your ideas for innovation that will take Virginia Conservation into the future. We’ll build on lessons learned from other districts nationwide and how to grow Virginia’s efforts to conserve natural resources of the Commonwealth.
Tuesday, December 7 9:30AM-11:30AM
Annual Meeting General Session & Awards Recognition
The following award recipients will be recognized at this time – Teacher of the Year, Forestry, VCAP, Director Service Pin and Chaffin Employee. Raffle prize winners announced.

Keynote comments from speaker and author Jones Loflin. He provides keynotes and training on time management, work life balance, change, and motivation. Having worked with SWCDs in North Carolina he brings a high level of energy.

While the past two years have been a season of enormous challenges, you’ve survived with your hard work and dedication to the mission of SWCDs. The question is, what is it going to take for you to thrive in your role going forward? Our keynote speaker today says you need to think like a gardener.

Jones will introduce us to a model of leadership that can help you build stronger relationships with your team, identify your top priorities, and determine what needs to change so you can accomplish your goals. The best part? You only need to remember four words: Grow, Cultivate, Prune, and Harvest.
Tuesday, December 7 1:00PM-4:00PM
Annual Membership Business Meeting
Recap VASWCD work, gain insight into the General Assembly session, vote on the VASWCD budget, legislative agenda and more. As a reminder, all elected and appointed Directors are voting members of the VASWCD.

• Call to Order
Approval of December 2020 Annual Mtg Minutes
Approval of Board VASWCD Motions 2020-2021
Review & Receipt of Treasurer Report
• Area Reports
• Committee Reports
Marketing Committee
Admin/Ops Committee
Legislative Committee – Policy Book, Leg Agenda
NACD Report
• President & Executive Director Report
Nominations Committee Report & Election
• Adjourn

2021 Virtual Training Resources:

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. 

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.

October SeriesWebsite Training – Contact VASWCD Staff for resources and recordings for this three part training series on general website best practices, beginner WordPress Training and Advanced WordPress Training.

September 21, 2021 – 10:00AM-12:00PM –  Advanced QuickBooks Training Part 1.  Training Video Available on YouTube for Viewing:  Click here for the PowerPoint.

September 23, 2021 – 10:00AM-12:00PM -Advanced QuickBooks Training Part 2.  Training Video Available on YouTube for Viewing:  Click here for the PowerPoint.

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. Training Video Available on YouTube: Click here for the power point.

2020 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

Prior Director/Admin Training Resources of Interest:

Below you can find presentations and documentation presented at previous VASWCD Director & District Admin Trainings.

The Power of Communication and Outreach: Enhancing the SWCD Message– Speaker: Dr. Julie Gochenour, James Madison University

“Incentivizing Your Employees: Personnel/Human Resources Mgmt. Topic”– Speaker: Terri Higgins, Associate Director Henricopolis SWCD & Loudoun SWCD

Local Outreach Spotlight – Tips & Testimony from a Successful Envirothon Program- Speaker: Brent Hull

Virginia Conservation Assistance Program Update- Speaker: Kevin McLean