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News Release

Sig Collins Recognized as Outstanding Kansas Earth Team Individual Volunteer

Sig Collins (l) presented Earth Team award by Sheldon HightowerSig Collins, South Hutchinson, Kansas, is the winner of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Outstanding Kansas Earth Team Individual Volunteer Award.

The Earth Team is NRCS’ volunteer workforce.  NRCS partners with conservation groups and others to ensure private lands are conserved, restored, and more resilient to environmental challenges.  Working side-by-side with farmers and ranchers, NRCS identifies natural resource concerns, such as soil erosion and water quality issues, and develops unique conservation plans for restoring and protecting resources.

Collins has served as a board member on the Citizens Management Committee of the Cheney Lake Watershed, Inc.  This grassroots organization was formed by the City of Wichita and the local Reno County Conservation District who work together to improve the water quality of Cheney Lake and the Ninnescah River. 

Collins has volunteered approximately 70 hours per year and 1,700 hours since 1994 to educate fellow farmers, ranchers, and landowners.  He has even hosted meetings and field days on his ranch and helped with education programs for children. 

Collins understands the importance of teaching the future generations.  Each year, he volunteers at the local Reno County Water Festival.  All the fourth graders in the county are invited to attend this festival to learn about this valuable resource. 

Raised on the banks of the Ninnescah River, Collins developed a deep love for the Kansas prairie and has a tremendous impact on conservation in central Kansas.

From teaching grade school children about water quality to hosting federal policy makers on his ranch, Collins has had a tremendous impact on conservation in central Kansas. 

“Earth Team volunteers allow us to stretch available resources, which helps us assist landowners in putting additional conservation practices on the ground,” NRCS Acting State Conservationist Sheldon Hightower said.  “These volunteer efforts help us improve the environment for everyone.  We all benefit, including the volunteers, many of whom tell us that they find their volunteer work enjoyable and personally rewarding.”