ACPF workshops offer conservation practices tailored to watershed landscapes

Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF) is a planning tool which identifies specific locations and opportunities on agricultural landscapes to implement conservation practices. Watershed coordinators use detailed ACPF maps to focus fieldwork and to help explain local issues and opportunities to farmers and landowners and engage them in designing solutions. 

The University of Minnesota Water Resources Center, with support from the Environmental Protection Agency and in partnership with the University of Wisconsin Extension, Purdue University, and local agency partners, hosted the second of three scheduled Watershed Applications of ACPF workshops January 6-7, 2020.  More than 20 watershed coordinators from throughout the Midwest attended to learn and share how ACPF can be used in watershed-scale conservation planning and implementation.

Workshop attendees learn to manage:

  • Targeted conservation
  • Watershed planning
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Local-level flexibility
  • Scientific validation for conservation funding

At the January workshop presenters Julie Westerlund, (One Watershed, One Plan Coordinator, Board of Water and Soil Resources), Kevin Kuehner, (Minnesota Department of Agriculture) and Tyler Grupa (Water Resources Center, Minnesota State University) introduced the history of watershed planning, ACPF uses in the Root River Watershed, and an overview of the data used in ACPF tool models and GIS analysis techniques in the Watonwan watershed.


Nutrient Reduction Game players integrate a variety of viewpoints, from farmers, absentee landowners, watershed coordinators, bankers, and other local partners.

Attendees also played the Nutrient Reduction Game, an interactive roleplaying scenario exercise adapted from The Watershed Game by Purdue and the Iowa Soybean Association, which allows participants to apply ACPF planning at a watershed scale. 

“The workshops enable participants to consider how ACPF might fit in their watershed activities, how ACPF can help advance water resources management in Minnesota, and next steps for application. Clearly ACPF is a useful modeling tool to increase effectiveness and efficiency of watershed planning in Minnesota,” said WRC researcher and workshop planner Adam Wilke.

The rescheduled virtual Wisconsin workshop will be July 16-17, 2020

 Online Technical ACPF training

ACPF in action map