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Earth Team Volunteers | 2006 Awards

2006 Kansas Earth Team Volunteer Awards

Many excellent nominations for Earth Team (ET) Volunteer Awards were received for Fiscal Year 2006. Two new award categories were added. All state award winners are forwarded to the national office for consideration for recognition at the national level. The 2006 award winners for the state of Kansas are as follows:

Individual – Mr. Delmar Maike

Delmar is an 84 year old volunteer for the Wabaunsee County and the Alma Field Office (FO). Delmar is a district board member who has donated his time to help the NRCS and Farm Service Agency (FSA). He provides clerical assistance and also prepares newsletters by completing the folding, tabbing, and sorting. He assists with staking and layout practices in the field. When it comes to educational opportunities in the county, he is there to help.

Group – Kansas Black Farmer's Association

The Kansas Black Farmer's Association organized a two-day event that brought in attendees from across the nation to promote tef grain. Tef is a native grain in Ethiopia used to produce flat bread, called injera. The event was a resource conservation and development (RC&D) project in conjunction with the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Nicodemus National Historical Site.

NRCS Employee – Mr. Steve Wingerson

Steve is a district conservationist in Smith Center. He recruited four individual volunteers and a group of volunteers to help the FO meet their fiscal year goals. Steve also recruited two apprentice students by contacting high school counselors. Steve used his recruits to make follow up visits and contacts with farmers and to assist office staff with layout, design, and checkout of conservation projects. The Smith Center volunteers were recognized at the annual conservation district meeting.

RC&D/NRCS – Solomon Valley RC&D

The Solomon Valley RC&D Council had a significant increase in the use of the ET Volunteer Program this year. Individuals and group volunteers donated 1316 hours. The RC&D projects have been varied. Some volunteers worked on preserving stone buildings while others worked on a playground. Many donated their time in helping to promote educational opportunities in their communities. The RC&D area used a variety of volunteers with diverse skills to impact the communities where they live and work.

National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD)/NRCS – Logan County Conservation District (CD)

The Logan County CD in Oakley has been active in their efforts to provide educational opportunities on the natural resources in their county. There are two projects that have made a big impact on the community. The first is an outdoor wildlife learning site. Volunteers developed the site and assisted in staffing it. Secondly, the district was instrumental in the scheduling of outdoor educational field trips for 5th graders. Early scheduling ensured the greatest possible percentage of participation.

Volunteer Coordinator – Ms. Jan Klaus

Jan is the volunteer coordinator in Area 1. She has led the state in increased activity in the ET Volunteer Program. In her area, the number of volunteers increased from 74 in 2005 to 114 in 2006. Volunteer hours increased from 1535 to 4032. She has promoted the use of groups to capture volunteer hours. She is responsible for the recruitment of six apprentices. She assisted other offices by preparing promotional materials used to promote the ET Volunteer Program. She has monitored the use of the "needs inventory" that offices use to recruit volunteers. Jan was involved in the Community Service Fair and Career Day. This year she visited 13 of the 18 FOs in Area 1 to provide assistance in improving their use of ET volunteers.

Chief's FO Award – St. Francis FO

The St. Francis FO has used four individuals and three groups to assist them in meeting the needs of the community. One volunteer was an apprentice. She worked on developing a soil tunnel for an educational program and assisted with the Conservation Reserve Program by assembling folders that could be utilized during times of high volume, such as signup periods. Another volunteer has been faithfully monitoring a water table well for ten years. This has saved NRCS 240 hours of time and 1320 miles of travel. One of the groups, the Cheyenne County CD, donated volunteer hours to promote conservation programs in the district. Board members attended local meetings and organized a community "tree day."