Sessions & Presenters

Red Cedar Session and Presenter Information
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Red Cedar Watershed Conference Keynote Mark Seeley

2023 Opening Keynote 

Regional Climate Change: Impacts on Local Landscapes and Watershed Management

Mark Seeley, former Extension Climatologist and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate at the University of Minnesota (1978-2018).

Opening Keynote Description

Mark will talk about the evidence for climate change in our region, especially hydrologic features (precipitation); and the impacts on watersheds, as well as lakes, water supplies, and aquatic species.

8:45-9:45 am

Mark Seeley Biography

In his role as Extension Climatologist and Meteorologist Dr. Seeley managed the Weather and Climate Education Program, as well as doing research and teaching. He has served as a weekly commentator on Minnesota Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” news program and written the weekly newsletter (blog) “Minnesota WeatherTalk” since 1992. Dr. Seeley has helped Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) produce award-winning documentaries on Minnesota’s most memorable historical weather events, and on how climate change is affecting the state’s infrastructure and natural resources. He is author of Minnesota Weather Almanac (1st edition published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press in 2006 and second edition published in 2015), and co-author (with Don Breneman) of Voyageur Skies: Weather and the Wilderness in Minnesota’s National Park (Afton Press, 2011), an award-winning book about the state’s only national park.

Dr. Seeley has been honored with a variety of awards, some of which include: Minnesota Crop Production Retailers Association Outstanding Service Award, December 2017; Minnesota Agri-Growth Council Distinguished Service Award, November 2017; The Siehl Prize in Agriculture for lifetime contributions of knowledge to the agricultural sciences, May 2014; The University President’s Award for Outstanding Community Service, May, 2012; The Scientific Communication and Education Award from Sigma Xi (2001, 2008, 2017); the University of Minnesota Extension Dean and Director’s Award, 2006; the MN/DOT Research Center Partnership Award (for design and use of snow fences), 2003

EDUCATION:
B.A. University of California, Berkeley, CA 1969 (pre-law)
M.S. Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 1975 (meteorology)
Ph.D. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 1977 (climatology)

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY :
Assistant Professor, 1978-1982 (100 pct Extension)
Associate Professor, 1983-1989 (80 pct Extension, 20 pct Research)
Professor, 1989-2018 (79 pct Extension. 21 pct Research)
Visiting Scientist, UK Meteorological Office, England 1989-1990
NOAA Partnership Fellow, 2002, Climate Prediction Center, Wash. D.C.

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Red Cedar Watershed Conference Keynote Rick Clark

2023 Afternoon Keynote

Coming Soon!

Rick Clark, owner and operator of Clark Land & Cattle and Farm Green Consulting

Afternoon Keynote Description

Coming Soon!

12:05-1:05 pm

Rick Clark Biography

Rick Clark is a 5th generation farmer from Williamsport, IN. The main goal on the farm is to build soil health and achieve balance with Mother Nature. Rick has developed and is constantly improving a systematic approach to regenerative farming. He is most proud of incorporating regenerative farming practices with all acres being certified organic. He calls it regenerative organic stewardship with no tillage. He will suppress weeds and build soil health with cover crops and no tillage. Rick also cares deeply about human health, as it is another important driver behind the organic no till style of farming. Rick is building a system that will be viable and profitable for generations to come.

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Red Cedar Watershed Conference Keynote Chad Pregracke

2023 Final Keynote

From the Bottom Up

Chad Pregracke, Founder and president, Living Lands & Waters

Final Keynote Description

Chad Pregracke, 2013 CNN Hero of the Year, is living proof that one person can make a difference. As the founder of America’s only “industrial strength” river clean-up organization, Chad Pregracke tells a compelling, uplifting, and inspiring story about growing up on the river and how his river experiences led to his unique vision to clean up the Mississippi River and start an internationally recognized not-for-profit, Living Lands & Waters.

During his presentation, Chad will take the audience out on one of the world’s greatest rivers –a journey filled with endless challenges and gripping adventures. His delivery is motivating, captivating, genuine and refreshingly spontaneous. Chad’s story will show you that one person can truly make a difference!

2:45-3:45 pm

Chad Pregracke Biography

Chad Pregracke is the internationally named 2013 CNN Hero of the Year, founder and president of Living Lands & Waters; a nonprofit river cleanup organization, author and professional public speaker. He is proof one person can make a difference.

Best known for starting out as a young man in East Moline, Illinois wanting a cleaner waterway, Chad has become the champion for the Mississippi River. Growing up on its banks, he worked as a commercial shell diver during his early years, experiencing the river from the bottom up. Sometimes spending 10 hours a day in the depths and current of the pitch black waters, he crawled nearly 150 miles of the river bottom over six years. Chad saw its beauty and was frustrated by the neglect. At the age of 17, he decided to clean it up. Twenty-three years later, Chad and his Living Lands & Waters crew have organized and led over 1200 community cleanups on 23 rivers in 21 states and removed over 11 million pounds of garbage. Chad had an idea that evolved into a movement that has helped to restore one of America’s greatest icons, the Mississippi River.

Chad has been recognized by former President, George W. Bush as a national “Point of Light.” He received a standing ovation at the Kennedy Center from all four living former U.S. Presidents for his inspirational message on dreaming big, taking action, persevering, leading and collaborating. He has been the keynote speaker for college graduations, business conferences and events, classrooms, nonprofit organizations and more. Named “America’s Hardest Working Person” by Mitchum, Chad’s enthusiasm, sense of humor and passion amplifies his story and entertains audiences. Ultimately, his message inspires people to believe they can make a difference.

Chad currently lives and works with his wife Tammy dividing their time between life on the Teamwork barge and their home in East Moline, IL.

2023 Breakout Presentations

Morning Session Block
10:15 - 11:05 AM

Tara Daun
Conservation Agriculture: What Is It, and Why Aren't All Farmers Doing It

The Hay River Farmer-Led Watershed Council works to promote conservation practices on local farm fields. In 2022 they held field days, surveyed large-scale farmers on their actions and opinions on conservation, and provided incentive funds for practices that improve surface water quality. They also conducted the Soil Your Undies competition to get soil health top-of-mind for more folks. Tara will talk about what we learned in 2022, what farmer attitudes towards conservation appear to be, and where we're headed for 2023 with Farmer-Led Councils. 

Tara Daun

Presenter: Tara Daun
Farmer-Led Watershed Council Coordinator, Wisconsin Farmers Union

Tara Daun is the Farmer-Led Watershed Council Coordinator for Wisconsin Farmers Union. In this role, Daun works directly with 4 farmer-led councils located in Dunn, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties to increase farmer engagement, build council capacity, expand participation in incentive programs, coordinate water testing and programming, and foster conservation in the Red Cedar and St. Croix watersheds. She previously worked with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, assisting farmers through application and contract processes to provide them with financial assistance for conservation practices.

These councils consist of farmers working alongside county staff to increase farmer awareness of water quality issues and adoption of conservation practices. Through the councils’ work, educational networking events are held on farms to showcase conservation practices such as no-till, strip tillage, cover crops, and grassed waterways with test plots and on-the-ground work.

“My hope is that we can increase soil health, farmer profitability, and water quality all at the same time. That takes farmers learning from other farmers to perfect practices that can reduce inputs and time spent on the tractor while maintaining profits and protecting the soil and water.”

www.Farmerledwatershed.org

Facebook.com/farmerledwatershed

Paul Cunningham & Kasey Yallaly
Brook Trout Reserves:  Adaptation Strategies in the Face of Climate Change

Wisconsin’s native Brook Trout are an integral part of our natural legacy, our culture, and our identity.  Brook trout are also very sensitive to changes in water temperature.  Climate and stream models project a decline of 68% of the stream habitat for Brook Trout with, only 6,832 miles suitable for Brook Trout by the mid-century. Dealing with climate change will require the best available science and meaningful participation of public and private stakeholders.  WDNR has proposed to establish and manage brook trout reserves in Wisconsin.  Brook Trout Reserves are a selection of some of the places in Wisconsin where brook trout have the best chance of enduring the effects of climate change and other environmental perturbations.  These 54 nominated reserves are selected to support biologically, environmentally, and climatologically resilient self-sustaining brook trout populations for quality fishing opportunities or conservation of genetic diversity.  The designation of reserves enables the WDNR and its partners to focus their specific tools to ensure that brook trout remain viable in the state.

Paul Cunningham

Presenter: Paul Cunningham
Fish Ecologist, WI DNR

Paul Cunningham has a BS from UW Stevens Point and a Master of Science from the Ohio State University. Paul spent five years conducting fisheries research for the Minnesota DNR and since 1992 has been with Wisconsin DNR’s Bureau of Fisheries Management. He has spent much of his career working on habitat protection initiatives. As the statewide Fisheries Ecologist, he serves as a technical consultant for fisheries lake restoration, community ecology, and biomanipulation of fish communities. Paul also leads the DNR’s Brook Trout Reserves Program.

Kasey Yallaly

Presenter: Kasey Yallaly
Fish Biologist, WI DNR

Kasey began her career in natural resources at Southeast Missouri State University in 2011 where she graduated with a degree in Wildlife Conservation and Management while working for the Missouri Department of Conservation for 3 years as a forestry research technician and fisheries technician on large rivers. From there she worked for Idaho Department of Fish and Game for 3 years on coldwater and warmwater fisheries. She then attended Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and graduated with her Master’s degree in Fisheries Management in 2018. Kasey has been working as the Fisheries Biologist for the Wisconsin DNR out of the Baldwin office since 2018 where she manages fisheries resources in Pierce, St. Croix and western Dunn counties.

Bob Micheel
Monroe County Climate Change Task Force

Monroe County has a history of flooding and intense rain events that have ravaged the southern portions of the county, since 2007.  In response to the destruction of infrastructure, private property, and agriculture, this led to the development of the Monroe County - Climate Change Task Force (CCTF) in 2019.  Hear from a county in western Wisconsin taking the initiative on climate change in Wisconsin. Bob Micheel will share how Monroe County not only passed a proactive resolution recognizing climate change while supporting the efforts of the newly created Climate Change Task Force. The CCTF will seek federal, state, and local assistance (technical & financial) to implement their 10 goals to address the symptoms of climate change while implementing mitigation practices to reduce the counties impact.

Bob Micheel

Presenter: Bob Micheel
Director, 
Monroe County Land Conservation Department (LCD)

Bob is the Monroe County Land Conservation Department (LCD)–Director, where he previously served as a Soil & Water Conservationist with the LCD in Sparta, Wisconsin, since 1989. Has a B.S. Degree in Resource Management and Soil Science from UWSP. He has served on many federal, state and local committees influencing conservation policy. Over the course of 30 plus years in Monroe County he’s responsible for the stream restoration program which included the Amish Community; phosphorous trading program with municipalities, created the first Land Use Planner position in Monroe County along with the Climate Change Task Force, and serves as the Wisconsin Land & Water - President. He grew up in a small community called the Arches, in Winona County MN.

 

Afternoon Session Block
1:40 - 2:30 PM

Nicole Hayes
Coming Soon!
Dr. Jim Boulter
Coming Soon!

Presenter: Dr. Jim Boulter
Professor, UWEC

 

Rick Clark
Title coming soon!

Description coming soon!

Rick Clark

Presenter: Rick Clark
Owner and operator of Clark Land & Cattle and Farm Green Consulting

Rick Clark is a 5th generation farmer from Williamsport, IN. The main goal on the farm is to build soil health and achieve balance with Mother Nature. Rick has developed and is constantly improving a systematic approach to regenerative farming. He is most proud of incorporating regenerative farming practices with all acres being certified organic. He calls it regenerative organic stewardship with no tillage. He will suppress weeds and build soil health with cover crops and no tillage. Rick also cares deeply about human health, as it is another important driver behind the organic no till style of farming. Rick is building a system that will be viable and profitable for generations to come.