Program Schedule

 2015 Program Schedule (Subject to change)

Registration and Check-In
7:30-8:30 AM
Student Center
Concourse Area
Welcome and Overview
8:30-8:40 AM
Great Hall

Opening Keynote

Wounded Waters

Rod Olson, MD
Red Cedar River Partnership and co-chair of the Red Cedar Watershed Conference

Rod traveled the Red Cedar River and its major tributaries by kayak in the spring of 2013 and 2014. He collected photographs and water samples along the route to create a database and to understand the present river's condition. His story will include the beauty and wounds the river revealed. Travel with Rod as he encounters the impact of our lifestyles on water quality. There will be aerial views, interviews with river residents and stories of how the river is trying to heal. Beauty, humor, troubles and triumphs will paint a memorable picture of how the Red Cedar is fairing under our care.


8:40-9:40 AM
Great Hall
Networking Break
9:40-10:00 AM
Great Hall

Concurrent Breakout Sessions 1-3

Session 1 - Land, Ballroom A

Why Change? A Closer Look at the Impacts of 25 Years of Farming with Less Tillage

Andy Bensend, AB Farms, AB Ag Services, Inc. and AB Seed & Consulting, Inc.
As owner and operator of AB Farms, a sole proprietor agriculture production company in NW Wisconsin, Andy has developed the reputation among his peers as an early adopter and visionary. He was among the first to adopt no-till farming practices in the glaciated soils of the predominantly rolling topography he calls home. Andy’s farm sprawls across southern Barron County and northern Dunn County including nearly 3000 acres of owned and rented farmland. Principle crops are corn, soybeans, and alfalfa.

Session 2 - Water, Maplewood/Cedarwood Room

MIDS Urban Stormwater Management...Something New for Menomonie

Jay Michels, CPESC, Erosion & Sediment Control Specialist
Emmons & Olivier Resources, Inc.
Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) represent the next generation of stormwater management. Through the concepts of Low Impact Development (LID), the emphasis today is on keeping the raindrop where it falls in order to minimize stormwater runoff and associated pollution. The MIDS program offers simple, consistent and flexible standards developed to replace more complicated standards for managing runoff from new and redevelopment projects.   MIDS was developed over three years by a diverse group of Minnesota stakeholders (including cities, state agencies, local governments, builders and developers) to standardize credits and create flexible treatment options that are easy to implement at the local level.  This presentation will focus on the MIDS program and how it is being used to help the City of Menomonie update their stormwater management policies to improve water quality

Session 3 - People, Ballroom C

LAKES REU (Linking Applied Knowledge in Environmental Sustainability Research Experience for Undergraduates) Project White Paper, Social Aspects of Water Quality

Nels Paulson, Associate Professor, Sociology; Director, LAKES REU
University of Wisconsin-Stout
His research has been published in Conservation and Society, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Nature and Culture, and Environmental Values.  His current work is on phosphorus pollution in the Midwestern United States and the place of civil society in mitigating non-point source pollution.

10:00-10:55 AM

Concurrent Breakout Sessions 4-6

Session 4 - Land, Ballroom A

Local Soil Health Farmer Panel

John Kettenacker,60 cow dairy farmer that has been no-till for about 10 years
Aaron Dietsche, dairy and cash crop farmer
Ben Mrdutt, grazier and member of the Hay River Farmer Lead Council

Three veteran farmers, who live and work in the area, will share their thoughts on improving soil health. The will speak to their own experiences then will be open to questions and discussion on such issues as: soil temperature at planting in a no till-field, weed growth, moisture content and keeping that hard earned soil in place on the fields. What they learned and how it has affected their future profit will be of interest to any grower.

Session 5 - Water, Maplewood/Cedarwood Rooms

EPA Nine Point Implementation Plan created by the Red Cedar River Partnership

Daniel Zerr, Natural Resource Educator
University of Wisconsin-Extension
In late 2013, a group was brought together to oversee water quality work in the Red Cedar River system.  The group, now known as the Red Cedar River Water Quality Partnership, has created a plan for what can be done in the next ten years regarding phosphorus, algae blooms, and water quality in general within the Red Cedar River system.  This session will discuss the Partnership, as well as the phosphorus management/TMDL implementation plan

Session 6 - People, Ballroom C

Fundraising and Recruiting Businesses to Support Watershed Efforts

Elizabeth Katt-Reinders, Director, Policy and Communications
Clean Lakes Alliance 
Elizabeth has worked extensively on environmental and water resource issues for well over a decade in both the public and private sectors, and currently works with elected and non-elected government officials, farmers, businesses, and a wide variety of other stakeholders on policy and implementation initiatives to reduce phosphorus-loading into surface waters.

11:00-11:55 AM
Lunch 12:00-12:45 PM
Great Hall

Afternoon Keynote

Farming For the 21stCentury:Understanding the Principles of Soil Health

Ray Archuleta, Conservation Agronomist
Ray is a Conservation Agronomist/Soil Health Specialist for the Natural Resource Conservation Service East at National Technology Service Center, located in Greensboro, North Carolina. Ray teaches soil health and the principles of agroecology throughout the country. He utilizes biomimicry strategies to restore soil function on rangeland, forest land and agroecosystems.


12:45-1:45 PM
Great Hall

Concurrent Breakout Sessions 7-9

Session 7 - Land, Ballroom A

Geology and Biology of the Red Cedar River Basin

Randy Hoffman, (former) Natural Areas Ecologist
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
The Red Cedar River lies at the confluence of three major biomes - the coniferous boreal forest to the north, the expansive deciduous forest to the southeast and the prairies to the west.  This fortuitous combination provides the elements for great diversity.  Explore the Red Cedar's natural communities from the glacial times to the present.

Session 8 - Water, Maplewood/Cedarwood Rooms

Water Ethics, the Passion and Commitment and What is Happening in Madison Concerning Water Quality

Elizabeth Wheeler, Staff Attorney
Clean Wisconsin
Elizabeth Wheeler has served as Clean Wisconsin's Staff Attorney since March 2011. She represents Clean Wisconsin at the Public Service Commission, before the Department of Natural Resources, and in court. In addition to litigation, Elizabeth performs legislative analysis, manages Clean Wisconsin's legal internship and externship programs, and advocates for strong policies protecting Wisconsin's natural resources. She is currently involved in work covering water conservation, water quality protection, metallic and non-metallic mining, air quality and energy.

Amber Meyer Smith, Director, Programs and Government Relations
Clean Wisconsin

Amber is responsible for leading the air and water programs at Clean Wisconsin. She develops the overall direction and long-range strategy to accomplish the organization's clean air and clean water mission. Amber also serves as Clean Wisconsin's principal government liaison and directs policy formation and advocacy for the organization

Session 9 - People, Ballroom C

Use of Social Data in Land Use Issues

Aaron Thompson, Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Planning; Land Use Specialist with the Center for Land Use Education
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Leaders of landscape planning efforts are increasingly realizing the necessity of approaching resource management challenges from a social-ecological perspective.  Whether responding to threats to water quality, habitat conservation, or rural planning priorities the need to understand and respond to the diversity of stakeholder attitudes is critical to long term success.  This session will focus on current UW-Extension Center for Land Use Education efforts to understand and use social science assessments to support natural resource planning initiatives in Wisconsin.

1:50-2:45 PM
Networking Break
2:45-3:00 PM
Great Hall

Closing Keynote

Active Citizenship, Engaging the Public for the Common Good

Sean Kershaw, Executive Director
Citizens League of Minnesota

Sean is passionate about active citizenship, civic organizing, and good public policy. He is a founding member of the Active Citizens School, a young-adult civic leadership program, and is currently part of the Minnesota Active Citizenship Initiative. Sean is on the Board for the Nonprofits Assistance Fund, Chairs the Development Committee for his church,

3:00-4:00 PM
Great Hall
Closing Remarks
4:00-4:15 PM
Great Hall

Quick Links: