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2012 Kansas Civil Rights Achievement Award

Kansas Civil Rights Achievement Award - 2012 Recipients

Kansas Civil Rights (CR) Achievement awards are designed to honor individuals and groups for outstanding achievements in the planning and execution of civil rights activities within the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) agency and the community. This year two awards were given, one to an individual and the other to a group.

Alan Larson, Supervisory District Conservationist, Effingham, was selected for the agency-related individual award. In fiscal year 2012, Kansas NRCS ordered a subscription to Minority Landowner magazine for all NRCS field offices in the state. Alan received his copy and came up with the idea of targeting African American producers in Atchison County by sending them a copy of the magazine. He thought it would help them connect to NRCS and the conservation programs and practices that we offer. With the help of the Kansas Outreach Coordinator, Alan obtained 40 copies of the magazine and sent it along with a letter to the producers. The producers were quite pleased and let Alan know that they were glad to receive the magazine.

The second award was an agency-related group award given to the committee who put together the women’s forum. This group included Jill Pfannenstiel, Federal Women’s Program Manager; Tami Yost; Christine Ronsse; Leslie Spikes; Toni Flax; Vanessa Walker; and Joni´ Franklin. Eric Banks, State Conservationist, requested that Jill plan a conference for the women in the agency. She formed a committee and together they planned for a full day of topics. The conference was held on May 17, 2012, at the Webster Conference Center in Salina. Close to 70 persons attended the day; this included not only female NRCS employees, but males and partner employees as well. Indiana State Conservationist, Jane Hardisty, started off the day talking about “Lessons Learned as a Female Conservationist." Other topics given by presenters were: Personal Wellness, Self Defense, Getting on and Moving up the Corporate Ladder, and Home and Work Life Balance. The day concluded with a panel of seasoned employees who answered questions submitted by attendees. All attendees enjoyed the conference with many expressing that it exceeded their expectations. The conference was a success. Pictures from the conference are available for viewing on the Kansas SharePoint site under announcements.