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Mac Nelson wins Jerry L. Johnson award

Marshall (Mac) Nelson Receives the First Jerry L. Johnson Award

Mac Nelson (c) is the 2005 recipient of the Jerry L. Johnson Award. Sue Daniel, Secretary in the Engineering Section, who nominated Nelson for the award (l) and Perry Oakes, State Conservation Engineer

Mac Nelson receives Jerry L. Johnson award

Marshall (Mac) Nelson was selected to be the first recipient of the Jerry L. Johnson Award by the award selection committee, comprised of representatives from NRCS, the Alabama Association of Conservation Districts, the State Soil and Water Conservation Committee, and the Bradley/Murphy Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Trust.

Nelson has been familiar with the work SCS/NRCS, all his life. His father John M. Nelson was a Soil Conservation Technician in Marshall County with SCS, and his uncle O. C. Medlock was Alabama’s first State Conservationist. When in school at Auburn University, Mac worked for SCS part-time in the Student Trainee Program. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural engineering, he began full-time with SCS in August 1970. His career spans numerous titles and responsibilities; he currently serves as State Design Engineer in Auburn, Alabama.

Mac thought of Jerry Johnson as a mentor and also a friend. They attended the same church and worked together for many years. When Jerry needed assistance during his bout with cancer, Mac was there. His pastor put it best when he said, “Mac did for Jerry what Jerry would have done for him if the circumstances had been reversed.”

Mac Nelson, like Jerry Johnson, is a quiet man of integrity who makes a positive impact on those he comes in contact with.

For contributions to his community through volunteer work and church activities, as well as exemplifying the highest standards of work ethics as an employee of NRCS, Mac Nelson is the recipient of the 2005 Jerry L. Johnson award. The award carried with it a stipend of $1,000 and a specially commissioned wood carving.

Once in awhile, we encounter people who make an impact on our lives.  Jerry L. Johnson, deceased NRCS State Forester in Alabama, was such an individual.  For over 30 years Jerry served conservation in Alabama and exemplified characteristics such as initiative, vision, unselfishness, teamwork, enthusiasm, discipline, confidence, and faithfulness.  The award in his honor is given for excellence in public service through one’s family, employment, profession, and community. All NRCS employees in Alabama are eligible to receive the award.

The award was established with funding from the Bradley/Murphy Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Trust, which Jerry worked with for many years.  The Trust, founded in 1992 by benefactor Harry Murphy, offers small monetary grants to people who have ideas about how to connect landowners to resource professionals especially consulting foresters.  This is the ultimate landowner assistance program. 

More information on Jerry L. Johnson Award