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Earth Team 2013 Employee Award Winners



Celebrating Volunteers!

2013 Employee and Coordinator Award Winners

National NRCS Employee Earth Team Award Winners

Employee Earth Team Award winner Adam EadesAdam Eades- ARKANSAS

Adam is the District Conservationist in the Pocahontas Field Office in Arkansas. He knows the value of Earth Team volunteers and due to his recruiting and training efforts, his office hosted a Warm Season Grazing Workshop, conducted an Arbor Day tree give-away at a local elementary school, participated in the USDA’s Feds Feed Families Food Drive, and hosted a conservation information day. The largest volunteer project in this office was the CoCoRaHS Rain Gauge Project which won the National Earth Team Group Volunteer Award in 2013.



Sylvia HickenlooperSylvia Hickenlooper – COLORADO

Sylvia is a Soil Conservationist in the Longmont Field Office in Colorado. She has a huge desire to make conservation education a priority and participates in a number of outreach activities. She is the author of the youth program, From Our Lands to Your Hands, which has been held for 3 years in Longmont and this year provided 545 students information on the importance of agriculture and conservation in their daily lives. Sylvia partners with a number of other organizations on her outreach efforts and her passion for helping people learn about conservation and our agency makes her a great promoter of utilizing volunteers.


Coordinator Bernadette LucsfordBernadette Luncsford – KANSAS

Bernadette is the District Conservationist in the St. Francis Field Office in Kansas. She has utilized volunteers in many different ways, like developing a native plants education area at the fairgrounds, creating poster/material in Spanish, speaking at Women’s groups, having a professional photographer volunteer to take pictures of conservation practices, and assist with spot checks. Her most notable endeavor is the Community Garden group. These volunteers planned, planted, weeded and harvested the garden and mentored beginning gardeners and worked with a junior garden club. A local carpenter volunteers his time to install a small hoop house at the garden. Not only is Bernadette a good volunteer supervisor, but she also practices what she preaches by volunteering in her local community.

Volunteer Coordinator StineMaureen Stine – MICHIGAN

Maureen is a part-time employee in the Onaway Field Office in Michigan. She focused her efforts with children, teachers and school districts. She worked with a group of sight challenged children and young people and provided hands on appreciation for native fur bearing animals that these kids haven’t had the chance to see but now can feel. Her work expanded partnership efforts with local and state governments and other federal agencies. Those efforts have assisted in connecting our youth and teachers to the important work USDA is performing with local farmers and forestland owners.



  National Earth Team Coordinator Award Winners

                                                                                                                                                               ET Coordinator award winner Colleen McClearyCOLORADO-COLLEEN McCLEARY

Colleen has a long history with the Earth Team while serving an Area and State Volunteer Coordinator in Colorado. Colleen has implemented education and outreach activities which was a great way to partner with the elementary schools in Colorado. As state coordinator she helped develop a small cookbook of recipes that were submitted by employees and volunteers and the books became thank you gifts to volunteers that helped in NRCS offices. It is Colleen’s openness and willingness to go forward with several different ideas that makes her a generous leader.


Volunteer Coordinator Tini FlaxKANSAS-TONI FLAX                      

Toni is a Rangeland Management Specialist in Kansas and serves as an Area Volunteer Coordinator. Toni provided needs assessment training to many of her offices as well as provided instructions on what tasks volunteers can perform. Due to her efforts her area increased the number of volunteers and led the state with volunteer hours. Toni keeps field offices in her area informed on the Earth Team Program by providing the district conservationists with periodic reports and answers questions regarding the program. Having been an Earth Team volunteer in high school, Toni has a unique perspective on how far volunteering can take you and the doors it can open.

Justin Howard from TNJustin Howard – TENNESSEE

Justin is a Soil Conservation Technician in Tennessee and serves as an Area Volunteer Coordinator. He has increased the number of individual volunteers and number of offices utilizing volunteers in his area. He assisted in coordinating volunteers for various activities including, clerical work, planting shrubs and trees for wildlife habitat, assisting with community tree give away, survey and other field activities, creating flyers and handouts to assist with recruitment. Justin set up the Tennessee Earth Team website which provides information and assists all offices with recruiting. As the local District Conservationist stated “Justin re-energized me in relation to the volunteer program. I had been steady with that program, but he pushed me to do more projects and involve more volunteers. ”