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Salina Woman Wins National Award

Salina Woman Wins National Award

Salina, Kansas, April 14, 2011—Tracey Martin is the winner of a national award, NRCS Earth Team Volunteer Coordinator Award for 2011. Martin is an office automation assistant with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Salina, Kansas.

Earth Team is the official volunteer arm of NRCS. It is a program that partners volunteers with NRCS employees to help conserve, maintain and improve natural resources and the environment.

Banks applauded the selection. “Tracey Martin is an Earth Team coordinator for the state office and the Plant Material Center (PMC) in Manhattan. This is a very important collateral duty. She works with staff promoting and advancing the Earth Team program while also serving on the management services team at the Kansas NRCS state office. The Earth Team program expands our ability to serve our customers and Tracey is instrumental in making this effective program work for the state office and PMC,” he said.

Martin became part of the Earth Team Volunteer Program in 2008. In the time that followed, the number of volunteers increased from 25 to 89, and the number of volunteer hours jumped from 261 to 972.

“Tracey is a strong Earth Team advocate,” said Banks. “Each year she contacts area schools to recruit students to participate in the Kansas Apprentice Program. This is an Earth Team effort where volunteers learn on-the-job skills learn and about career choices that may help them get hired at NRCS or in the natural resources conservation field. It’s proven to be successful. Several Earth Team volunteers have been hired and one student/volunteer was selected as a USDA/1890 National Scholar.”

The Earth Team Volunteer Coordinator Award is a yearly competition which represents the best NRCS volunteer manager in the U.S.

For more information about being an ET Volunteer, contact Jan Klaus, Kansas Earth Team Volunteer Coordinator, 785-625-2588 or go to the Kansas NRCS homepage at, and click on Earth Team Volunteers.

Sidebar: Earth Team is the official volunteer arm of NRCS. Nationally, in 2010, Earth Team volunteers donated 641,549 hours of service to NRCS worth $13.4 million. Since being formed in 1985, over a half-million Earth Team volunteers have donated $327 million worth of time, in 2010 dollars, to help NRCS with its conservation mission. NRCS State Conservationist Eric Banks said last year 4,136 ET volunteers donated 72,998 hours in Kansas. “That’s worth $1,522,009 of benefit to our customers and the taxpayers,” said Banks. “These are impressive numbers, and we are grateful for the help, but we also recognize much more conservation work needs to be done.”