Current Newsletter - June 2021


Please check here for more training opportunities:

Nuggets of Wisdom for New Planners

Being a new planner at a District can be a lonely, daunting task (especially with recent remote working). This rings especially true at smaller districts, or single person programs. But remember, we ALL started somewhere. We all had to learn from our mistakes, OR we were lucky enough to have had a mentor to assist us in the beginning and over the years.

The CTD has reached out to seasoned planners to find those “tidbits of wisdom” to share with beginning and learning planners alike. Whether you are a new planner or have been around for a long time, we hope you will find some great nuggets in here!

What advice do you wish you were given when you started planning?

  • Write down and memorize your clients’ spouse and kids’ names. Jot it down on the copy of your office working file or field notes. It will come in handy and lets them know you care when you ask or refer to their family. Also try to remember or jot down what kind of truck they drive and what color it is. That is where you'll always find him/her.

  • In the small farm world, there’s a ton of things going on that require many different strategies. The key is to focus on the little wins for the landowner to gain confidence to help them move forward.

  • Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed and like you’re drinking from a fire hose…it will all come together in time.

  • Planning is complicated, takes time, and requires a lot of training. Be patient, ask questions, and know you are not alone.

  • Planning takes time. No one is good at it on Day 1. Even experienced planners still make mistakes from time to time.

What advice do you have for new planners?

  • If you do not have an agricultural background, seek as many farmer mentors as you can and...

Last Call for WADE Registration!

The (free!) WADE Conference will be held virtually on June 14, 15, and 16 from 9am-3pm.

WADE is less than a week away -- register today!

Check out the full schedule, find registration links, and apply for a scholarship all on the CTD website:

Click here for WADE 2021

We have an awesome line up for 2021 Virtual WADE!

Join us for the Opening Session and Keynote presentation on June 14 in Room 1. Hear updates from partners and cast your vote for new WADE officers, then have the unique opportunity to hear Dean Longrie, Chair of the WA Conservation Commission share words of wisdom and answer all your questions about the Commission.

Knowing your CD Community: Data Resources Overview, Extending the Bareroot Planting Window, and Blended In-person and Remote Working Options are just a few of the in-depth sessions offered at this year's WADE conference. Can't be decide between concurrent sessions?? Don’t Panic! All sessions will be recorded and posted for those who aren’t able to make the live presentations.

To bring back some of the WADE conference networking vibe, there will be two Social Hour events this year! On June 14 from 3:00-4:00 there will be a number of networking rooms and on June 15 from 3:00-4:00 will be Envirothon Trivia (yay!). Let’s connect and share!

And, don't forget Prizes! There will be door-prizes awarded throughout the day in all Rooms, so be sure to keep your eyes out for those!

Questions? Email

WADE 2021 is brought to you in partnership by: CTD, WADE, and WSCC

  • Hosting a meeting or giving a virtual presentation and unsure where to start?

  • Need training on a farm planning tool?

  • Looking for information on NRCS and CTD certifications?

  • Saw a webinar advertised but couldn’t make the date work?

The CTD is here to help! Over the last several years, the CTD has been building an extensive collection of recorded trainings and webinars – and with our virtual world over the last year, that collection has now outgrown its ‘Trainings Archive’ page.

Enter the new CTD Training Library! Easily find all the content you need with new topical categories and accordion-style navigation. Browse topics such as Conservation Planning, Outreach, Forestry, Leadership & Management, or Certification and have all the related content at your fingertips. Entries are arranged by date, with the most recent content at the top. New content is added all the time, so check back often!

Environmental Permitting on Working Lands Training - Now Available in the CTD Training Library

Have you ever felt unqualified to have a conversation with your landowner on permit requirements for a conservation project? This four-day web training, held live in April 2021, was brought to you in partnership by the CTD and NRCS and provides a wealth of information on the regulatory and permit process required to implement conservation actions on aquatic lands including streams, rivers, wetlands, floodplains, and forestlands. Hear directly from Agency and Tribal staff with presentations on NEPA, SEPA, Federal, State, Tribal, and local permit processes.

More than a dozen recorded training presentations, broken into discrete topics, are now available to you on the CTD website. Also find all the complete set of course materials, including permit flowcharts, JARPA handouts, and example permit scenarios.

Upcoming CTD Trainings

Sound Horsekeeping Program: What, How, and Why

July 15, 2021 @ 9:00-10:00


Presenter: Michael Hipp, Snohomish CD

Keeping a horse - housing, feeding, providing room to exercise and be a horse - is not only challenging, but can be very expensive and challenging on small acreages typically adjacent to waterways, in western Washington. Horses are non-native creatures introduced to our soils and landscape in the 1700s, and their impact on the ecosystem is widely felt. Sound Horsekeeping is a program from the Snohomish Conservation District to help people not only mitigate those impacts but to do so in a way that is of benefit to the horse and the human. Find out what the program is, how it is done, and why it is needed, now more than ever.

Moderating Virtual Meetings and Events Like a Pro

August 19, 2021 @ 9:00-10:00


Presenter: Kari Quaas, Snohomish CD and Nichole Embertson, CTD

You may have attended trainings on how to host or present a virtual meeting or event, but what about moderation? Moderating a meeting is just as (or more!) important for making sure it runs smoothly and highlights the content. Join us for strategies, tips, and techniques for easily moderating a meeting or event like a pro!

Special Training: How to Develop and Deliver an Engaging Virtual Conference Presentation

September 1, 2021 @ 1:00-3:00


Presenter: Cathy Angell (encore recorded presentation) and Nichole Embertson, CTD

What are the best practices for developing a presentation for a virtual conference? How do you engage an audience who can see you but you can’t see them? How do you drill down to the most important message? What if your presentation is pre-recorded? This encore 90-minute training with Cathy Angell specifically addresses the successful design and delivery of a science-based virtual conference presentation. It covers best practices for slide design, as well as effective strategies for keeping a diverse audience involved and engaged. This will be followed up by an overview of available presentation resources curated by the CTD.

WA Discovery Farms Project: Evaluating dry manure storage options for water quality protection across King County, WA

September 23, 2021 @ 9:00-10:00


Presenters: Nichole Embertson, Whatcom CD; Laura Redmond, King CD; Addie Candib, AFT

Proper manure management is an important practice for animal operations that can provide a valuable resource for land managers while protecting water quality and enhancing soil health. Manure management practices, particularly those that contain and control manure runoff, protect water quality by retaining valuable nutrients and preventing transport to surface and ground water resources. American Farmland Trust, King Conservation District, and Whatcom Conservation District’s Washington Discovery Farms® program collaborated on a project in the South Puget Sound to assess and promote the best management practice (BMP) of on-farm dry manure storage for water quality protection.

Have a training or webinar idea you'd like to see the CTD host? Contact us at!

Join the Western Region Agricultural Stress Assistance Program (WRASAP) Network Quarterly Meeting

Thursday, July 8, 2021, 1:00PM PST

Register here The last day to register is Monday, July 5, 2021; all registrants will receive connection information upon registration submission.

High levels of stress are present in agricultural communities. Unstable finances, the pressure of multigenerational farm lineage, injury, chronic illness, harsh weather conditions, and more recently stressors associated with COVID-19 are among the challenges producers face daily. The WRASAP network of partners believes that the unique needs of agricultural communities must be addressed. This is done through communication and collaboration with partners across the Western region to offer education, support in navigating resources, and funding opportunities for agricultural communities.

Oregon State University's Assistant Professor, Cassie Bouska, speaks on her collaboration with Washington State University during the pilot program that led to the development of WRASAP. Farm Aide's Hotline Program Manager, Madeline Lutkewitte, will give an overview of Farm Aide's services and collaboration with WRASAP, followed by National AgrAbility's Tess McKeel, who will share event details for the Regional AgrAbility Conference in August.

Intended Audience: WRASAP lead agencies; WRASAP collaborating organizations; any agency/health provider/program providing services to producers (agricultural farmers, ranchers, workers, business owners, and non-industrial private forest owners and managers) and their families in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Have you updated your CTD Database profile lately?

We hope that one silver lining to our current situation is that you have been able to take advantage of the influx of remote trainings available -- but how are you tracking all that valuable training?

The CTD created the Conservation District personnel database to not only capture staff and expertise around the State, but also to help you keep track of your relevant certifications and training records.

Take advantage of the self-service portal where you can identify your specialties, certifications, and selected trainings you’ve completed.

Keeping your profile in the database up-to-date has several advantages for you:

  • AgLearn not showing the training you’ve completed? Worried what might happen to your training certificates if your computer crashed? You can upload certificates from training you’ve completed that count towards NRCS Planner Designation or any of the CTD certifications to the database. This will help you track your training, provide a backup for your certificates, and interact with the CTD certification leads.

  • Interested in mentorship or being a mentor for your particular specialty? You can indicate your interest in the database to be notified as mentorship opportunities become available.

  • Want to be considered for statewide technical advisory requests? This database is a key way personnel with requested expertise are identified.

Questions about the database or how to get started? Email

Reminder to Log Into AgLearn

This is a friendly reminder to all of those with AgLearn accounts to remember to log in to your account every 20 days to maintain access by using your eAuthentication User ID and password. Failure to do this can get you locked out. The CTD recommends setting up a reminder in your Outlook calendar.

You can find more information about creating and maintaining an AgLearn profile on the CTD website:

Known Issue Update: AgLearn recently switched the server that hosts much of its content, which changed the URLs pointing to some training content. On the user end, this is resulting in error messages when trying to access courses and course activities. AgLearn is actively working to fix these links.

If you have an idea for the newsletter, a project or photo you'd like featured, or just want to say hello, email We'd love to hear from you!