July 15th & 16th, 2019 | Crowne Plaza Hotel
3000 S. Dirksen Parkway | Springfield | Illinois | 62703
(217) 529 – 7777



Please join the Association of Illinois Soil & Water Conservation Districts (AISWCD) for its 71st Annual Meeting & Summer Training Conference. Each year, member districts gather to conduct association business, attend training seminars, network, and socialize. Last year’s conference, held at the Wyndham City Centre in downtown Springfield, had nearly 400 people attend representing all spectrums of the agriculture industry – retail, commodity, research, non-profit, agency, and farmers.



The Crowne Plaza Springfield – Convention Center is conveniently located on I-55 & I-72, better known as Historic Route 66.  Near the University of Illinois Springfield, our hotel is perfect for those coming in to visit the school or catch a game at one of the nearby sports complexes.

With a short drive to Downtown Springfield, history buffs will enjoy a visit to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.  Other nearby attractions include Knight’s Action Park and the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Our complimentary shuttle operates a generous 3-mile radius and takes you to UIS, the Amtrak train station, and Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport.  Our accommodations also offer Free Wi-Fi, parking, and always open business center.  Maintain your workout routine at our 24-hour fitness center, go for a swim in our 14th floor indoor pool, or relax in our hot tub and dry sauna.  Each room is equipped with a mini-refrigerator, Keurig, and 43” TV.


Bring the whole family! The AISWCD invites you to join us for a night at the ballpark! Take in a Springfield Sliders baseball game as the hometown team takes on the Cape Girardeau Catfish in a Prospect League Showdown, at historic Robin Roberts Stadium. Attendees will enjoy a complimentary mix of jumbo hot dogs, hamburgers, puled pork sandwiches, peanuts, popcorn, cracker jacks, and two beverages (beer or soda) while supplies last.

Join us at the party deck, where Speedy the Slider’s mascot will stop by to say hello! Please use the conference registration form to RSVP for this fun filled evening!





3:00 PM – 5:00 PM | Early Registration Opens

Volunteers and those attending the AISWCD social event are welcome to obtain registration materials early.

6:30 PM – 9:00 PM | AISWCD Social Event 

Join the AISWCD  for a night at the ballpark! Springfield Sliders baseball game featuring food and refreshments. Includes game ticket and complimentary mix of jumbo hot dogs, hamburgers, pulled pork sandwiches, peanuts, cracker jacks, popcorn, and 2 beverages!




7:00 AM | Registration Opens

Conference attendees are welcome to pickup up registration materials, meal tickets, and more.

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM | Conference Opening Ceremony

Join the AISWCD for the opening ceremony and listen to a welcome message from the AISWCD President. AISWCD Officers, Board, and staff will also be introduced. The colors will be posted during this period, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Also, join us for an exclusive screening of the new, short film (10 minutes): “Past, Present, and Future of Conservation Districts”.

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM | Dignitary Guest Speaker(s)

Messages of welcome and greeting from dignitary speakers.

10:00 AM | Speaker Series – Topic: The Industrial Supply Chain

Sustainability in the Supply Chain” presented by Michelle French, Manager of Corporate Sustainability for ADM. Learn how the sustainability factor is driving industry.

“The Forestry Industry” presented by Jody Shrimp, Program Coordinator with Let the Sun Shine In: Conserving Southern Illinois Forests.

10:00 AM | Auxiliary Meeting

Drop in and connect with the AISWCD Auxiliary!

11:00 AM | Topic: Grant Accountability & Transparency Act (GATA)

Gain more familiarity and knowledge of Illinois’ Grant Accountability & Transparency Act impacting state issued grants.

11:30 AM – 12:00 PM | AISWCD Awards & Recognition Luncheon

A casual, fun luncheon on the first day of the conference which recognizes numerous individuals, including students and teachers, across the state for their contributions to the realm of conservation.

1:00 PM – 2:45 PM | Speaker Series – Multiple Topics

“Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources (S.T.A.R.)” presented by Bruce Henrickson of the Champaign County SWCD, also retired Chair of Parkland College’s Business & Agribusiness Industries Department. Learn about the exciting new sustainability assessment tool now available in 39 Illinois counties and growing.

“NREC Funded Research and How it is Applied on the Ground” presented by Julie Armstrong, Executive Director of the Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council. Hear the latest on NREC research and its importance to agricultural sustainability, the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, and relevance to SWCDs.

“Fall Covers for Spring Savings” presented by Kris Reynolds, Midwest Deputy Director of American Farmland Trust. Learn about Illinois’ brand-new cover crop insurance reward program.

“Soil Health” presented by Brad Zimmerman, a Soil Health Champion & Tazewell County SWCD Director. Zimmerman will share his unique insights on the importance and value of providing for soil health.

1:00 PM | Auxiliary Craft Session (Continued)

Join the Auxiliary for a fun craft-making session.

2:45 PM – 3:45 PM | Topic: Freedom of Information & Open Meetings Act

Christopher R. Boggs, Supervising Attorney, Public Access Bureau of the Office of the Illinois Attorney General will provide important need to know information to help ensure compliance with two acts that greatly impact public bodies throughout the state.

3:45 PM – 5:00 PM | Topic: Solar and Conservation

“Considerations for Groundlayer Vegetation on Solar Farms: Planting Choices & Maintenance” presented by Vincent J. Mosca, Vice President & Senior Ecologist with Hey & Associates. Learn about the various options for planting the land in and around solar farms and important considerations for short and long term maintenance.

5:15 PM – 6:15 PM | Farm Family Reception
Sponsored by the AISWCD Auxiliary

A pre-dinner reception for the nominee families for the Conservation Farm Family Award presented by the AISWCD Auxiliary. This reception is only available to AISWCD Board Directors and their guests.

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM | Conservation Farm Family Dinner
Sponsored by the Illinois Farm Bureau 

The AISWCD’s signature event, you don’t want to miss this! Join the AISWCD in honoring the 2019 Conservation Farm Family of the Year, Lawmaker of the Year, and the Friend of Conservation Award winners. Holly Spangler, Editor of Farm Progress’s Prairie Farmer will emcee this event! Music and entertainment will follow.

8:00 PM – 8:30 PM | Musical Entertainment & Refreshments

DJ Big Daddy Frank will spin the favorites and a cash bar will open following the conclusion of the Conservation Farm Family Dinner and throughout the live auction.

8:30 PM – Close | AISWCD Live Auction

Fun! Join the AISWCD for the return of its live auction!




7:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Registration Opens

Conference attendees are welcome to pickup up registration materials, meal tickets, and more.

7:30 AM  – 9:00 AM | Soil Stewardship Breakfast Featuring Guest Speaker
Sponsored by the ISWCDEA 

Enjoy a hearty breakfast and listen to a riveting presentation involving a turbulent period of Prairie State history. Owen Muelder, Director of the Galesburg Colony Underground Railroad Freedom Center at Knox College will present “The Anti-Slavery Movement and the Underground Railroad in Illinois”.

9:00 AM – 9:45 AM | Topic: Hemp Rules & Regulations

Jeff Cox, Bureau Chief for Medicinal Plants, at Illinois Department of Agriculture will provide an overview of Illinois’ new industrial hemp program.

9:15 AM: Auxiliary Soil Make & Take

Join the Auxiliary for another fun activity!

9:45 AM – 10:30 AM | Topic: Generational XYZ

Check back – more information on this seminar will be available soon!

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM | SWCD Director & Employee Forums

These forums allow for peer discussion and information exchange. SWCD employees will receive NRCS presentations on FAP, Citrix, and a Conservation Desktop overview.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM | Luncheon

Enjoy a wonderful meal – eat and relax!

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM | AISWCD Annual Meeting

AISWCD annual business meeting.

5:00 PM | Conference Close

Thank you for attending!

* The above agenda is tentative until final, and subject to change.
* Auxiliary store open 7:30 AM to 11:00 AM.



Don’t wait – make your reservations today!

A block of rooms is being held at the following rates; $70 (single occupancy), $85 (double occupancy), $100 (triple occupancy), $115 (quad occupancy) per night. Use the link above to make a reservation, or please call (217) 529 – 7777.

Please reference “Soil and Water Conservation Distrcit” or Reference ID# A7i

Voting delegate forms are located by HERE.


Register early for big savings, or take advantage of the brand new all-inclusive rate! Also new in 2019, registration for spouses and family guests is free! We hope to see you in July!

Early Rate: April 15 – May 15

$40 | 2-Day Registration
$20 | 1-Day Registration

Regular Rate: May 15 – June 30

$50 | 2-Day Registration
$25 | 1-Day Registration

Late Rate: July 1 – Start

$80 | 2-Day Registration
$40 | 1-Day Registration


All-Inclusive Rate: May 15 – June 30th

$120 | 2-Day Registration + All Meals

* Please note, each individual attendee must complete the registration form (this also includes spouses and or family guests).


The Annual Meeting & Summer Training Conference is an opportunity to recognize outstanding achievement in the realm of conservation. The AISWCD also bestows a scholarship to deserving Illinois students pursuing an agricultural related degree program. To learn more, or nominate someone, please visit the link below.


After a hiatus, the AISWCD Live Auction returns in 2019. The AISWCD needs your help though – please consider the donation of item!

Click on the image above to print the form!


Exhibit | Showcase yourself!

The AISWCD’s two-day conference can provide you with the opportunity to network with conservation professionals, landowners, partnering organizations, and government agencies. It also provides a venue to discover new services, technologies, and programs! We are excited to offer cost effective promotional and advertising opportunities.

Sponsor | Become a conference sponsor!

Sponsorships are an investment in conservation! Please consider becoming a sponsor today!

Questions? Please contact Sarah Jones at 217-744-3414 or send an email to sponsorships@aiswcd.org.