We highly recommend new users explore the technical training material prior to getting started with ACPF. The ACPF Hub hosts online training workshops on a routine basis, so be sure to check back to determine if there is an upcoming training that you can attend. In the meantime, we recommend new ACPF users take the independent online technical training course.

The course is publicly available and includes eight training modules including an overview of ACPF, DEM preparation, developing stream networks, field characterization, and running the conservation practice siting tools. It can be taken at your own pace and allows you to jump to specific sections or go through the course in their entirety. The training videos are designed for individuals who have an intermediate knowledge of GIS as it assumes viewers are comfortable navigating toolboxes, using tool dialogs, manipulating map characteristics, and moving and joining tables.

Please note, the training videos are for version 4 of the ACPF. The ACPF Hub is working on updating these videos for version 5 of the ACPF. Please stay tuned!

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The ACPF National Hub has hosted several trainings focusing on using the outputs of the ACPF in a watershed management context. The trainings are designed for NRCS staff, watershed practitioners, county conservation staff, watershed planners, and private consultants who are interested in learning more about using the ACPF to improve their small watershed-based planning and implementation projects. No GIS or prior ACPF experience is needed. 

The trainings are designed to help participants learn:

  • How to use ACPF results in a watershed planning context 
  • How a watershed perspective impacts agricultural conservation work
  • What the ACPF is and how it compares to and interacts with other state-specific  tools, applications, and models
  • How the ACPF improves the effectiveness of conservation work by allowing desktop work that informs field visits
  • How a field specialist works with a GIS specialist to generate meaningful and useful ACPF results
  • How to explain the assumptions behind each of the ACPF tools to farmers and other stakeholders
  • How to use ACPF results to engage stakeholders in conservation activities

To date, training have been held in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin and we currently are running a number of virtual trainings focusing on using the ACPF in watershed planning and implementation.

To aid in your learning, we also have videos recordings of a limited number of the presentations given at ACPF Watershed Applications Trainings. The videos listed below are zoom presentations describing the different ways the ACPF has been used across the region.

Looking for additional resources? We also have a series of written Use Examples that provide high-level examples of how the ACPF has been used in different contexts.


There are a number of ACPF training resources for ACPF users. Explore the ACPF Resource Library which has a number of resources including ACPF publications, examples of ACPF in use, a guide for making landscape-specific adaptations to the ACPF and more.

Specifically, read the ACPF User’s Manual! The manual describes how to apply the ACPF planning tools with written instructions on inputting data, data maintenance, file management, digital-terrain-model processing, stream delineations, and runoff risk assessment, and guidance on how to execute the Python programming scripts that are used to propose conservation-practice placements.

Also, if you are looking for additional support, we encourage you to join the ACPF forum. The ACPF Forum is a Google Group of ACPF users from around the region where you can share results, ask questions, and report issues. Discussions have addressed user topics such as tips for fixing technical errors, how to identify false depressions, how to display flow direction, and more. The forum is also a great way to find out about ACPF updates. You can also find out about ACPF updates through the ACPF mailing list where we email out the latest ACPF news and events. Subscribe to our mailing list.