Edgar is the President of the Kansas Black Farmers Association (KBFA), and has been a very active Earth Team Volunteer sponsoring several resource conservation and development (RC&D) projects in the Solomon Valley RC&D Area. Edgar is currently working with the RC&D to develop a long-range strategic plan for the KBFA. In Fiscal Year 2007, Hicks logged nearly 100 Earth Team hours.
Wildlife, Agriculture, Conservation Knowledge for Youth Day--the volunteers involved in planning and organizing this event work all year to make this day a successful learning experience for the 6th graders in Norton, Phillips, Smith, Osborne, Rooks and Graham counties in Northwest Kansas. Because of the hard work and dedication of the many volunteers that take part in this event, W.A.C.K.Y. Day has become an amazing success and has grown from "we will try it and see what happens" to a long standing and much anticipated tradition among the students and teachers. Of the $18,687.50 total budget for W.A.C.K.Y., $11,882.50 of that amount is time donated by volunteers. The W.A.C.K.Y. Day group was also the winner of the National Earth Team Volunteer Group Award for 2007.
Jean Stapel and Tonya Bonjorno accepting National Earth Team Volunteer Group Award
NRCS Employee - Mr. Charles Atkinson
Charles provided leadership to the Area 3 field offices as well as program support and assistance with the Earth Team Volunteer Program in his role as the area coordinator. His goal was to maintain quality volunteers to assist the field offices to accomplish office goals and projects. Charles served as the Area 3 Earth Team Coordinator for a total of 12 years.
Volunteer Coordinator - Mr. Lonnie Miller
Lonnie served as the State Earth Team Volunteer Coordinator. He was responsible for the management of the Earth Team Volunteer Program in Kansas. He also served on the National Work Plan Committee to develop a three-year work plan for the National Earth Team Volunteer Program. Additionally, he was a member of the national Mentoring Committee and also the Apprentice Committee. Lonnie served as the State Earth Team Volunteer Coordinator in Kansas for ten years.
Field Office Chief's Recognition Award - Hays Field Office
The Hays Field Office Staff utilized the volunteer program in their office to the fullest extent. In Fiscal Year 2007, they experienced having an apprentice in the field office for the first time. All staff members trained and worked with the volunteers on specific tasks in their area of expertise. They also utilized the Earth Team Needs Assessment in order to prioritize tasks that volunteers can complete.
Barb Coonrod, NRCS Soil Conservation Technician, working with Jordan Schmeidler, apprentice, on a waterway design.
National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD)/NRCS - Haskell County Conservation District (CD)
The Haskell County CD in Sublette has been conducting an annual tour to educate approximately 80 fifth grade students about conservation. The tour teaches the students about the daily operations of a feedlot and a dairy. District Board Supervisors volunteer their time as tour guides for various stops on the tour. They also have the very important role as cooks for the lunch prepared for the teachers, students and speakers. In 2007, eight volunteers contributed 72 hours of volunteer time to the tour.
Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D)/NRCS - Sunflower RC&D
Within 24 hours after the E-F5 tornado ripped through the town of Greensburg, Kansas, the Sunflower RC&D Area, Inc. in cooperation with Kansas Conservation Partners combined their efforts and support to collect needed items and charitable donations for the tornado survivors. The RC&D Council worked with the local conservation districts and others to receive donated items and then shuttle them to the relief area for distribution. Additionally, tax deductible donations were collected for the Greensburg Area Relief Fund and within a week of the tornado, the council had launched the call for help through the RC&D network at the national level. They also worked with Federal Emergency Management Agency and emergency personnel to work out distribution logistics. This project helped the council build and expand working relationships/partnerships with other RC&Ds, local conservation districts, and several corporations. The Sunflower RC&D accounted for 143 council members and volunteers working a total of 1,336 hours. The Sunflower RC&D was also the winner of the National RC&D/NRCS Earth Team Volunteer Award for 2007.
Bob Mosier, President of Sunflower RC&D Council, accepting National RC&D/NRCS Earth Team Volunteer Award
District Manager - Ms. Jane Zook
Jane is the district manager at the Larned Field Office. She is very involved with conservation education and especially enjoys working with children. Jane has worked with staff and students at the Larned Alternative Learning Center and has found it to be a wonderful and very rewarding experience. Jane has volunteered her time to work with theses students in learning about conservation through the annual poster contest, World Water Monitoring Day, and educating the students in reading legal land descriptions and how to locate a piece of ground as well as discussing the different soils in Pawnee County. Jane has shown great patience and adaptability in her class instruction for the Larned Alternative Learning Center students. She loves the enthusiastic response the kids have to learning something new and their eagerness to learn about natural resources.