The Conservation Professional Training Program offers education and training programs on various aspects of on-farm conservation. Whether you are a seasoned professional or new employee, agency staff, co-op agronomist or private sector consultant, you will find many opportunities to improve your professional skills or achieve certification to reach out to a new customer base.

  • Effective, hands-on training that not only teaches, but shows you how to implement conservation on the land.
  • Time-conscious training that builds on skills you already have.
  • Cost-effective approaches that help you balance budgetary and staff professional development needs.

Training programs are available that assist professionals working to increase the knowledge base of the rural landowner/farmer. These curricula integrate a variety of educational approaches and incorporate system thinking as a way to deal with the interconnectedness of issues in agriculture and the environment on a day to day basis. The educational strategies for the training program reflect an individual's training goals with techniques integrated to match farm goals and situations while protecting the larger issues related to soil degradation and water quality. The skills necessary to manage an efficient farm are becoming more and more difficult to understand, assess and evaluate but are critical in their implementation. It is therefore essential to provide technical assistance in the formulation of systems that will be feasible, economical, protect the resource base and conform to agency policies and regulations.

These courses are open to all but are targeted for Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) employees, private sector consultants, co-op agronomists, Extension Staff, and other conservation professionals.

Part of the NIFA Great Lakes Regional Water Program

We are a multi-state, multi-organizational partnership which guides and facilitates the development of training programs and courses that provide the skills necessary for evaluating, marketing and implementing conservation practices with landowners.

  • Courses are taught in a wide range of formats to enhance and accommodate adult learning and lifestyle through shortened schedules. Courses are taught in the classroom, field, hands on, web based settings with instructors from a variety of agencies/experiences and shortened schedules.
  • Many courses offer CEU's that fulfill certification/continuing education requirements
  • A web based course management system that also provides a source of centralized training opportunities, tracking and record keeping for trainers, students and certifiers.
  • Assures that private sector consultants/TSPs working across state lines have the knowledge/technical competencies necessary.
  • Curriculum is designed to be regionally adaptive

Our mission is to increase the capacity of the private and public sector to implement conservation practices through hands-on research science based training so that every landowner has ready access to:

  • knowledgeable and experienced conservation advisors (i.e. agency staff, TSP's and CCA's)
  • information tools necessary to successfully implement conservation practices that build long term ecosystem stability while maintaining farm profitability.