Skip Navigation

News Release

NRCS Names Oklahoma Conservationist of the Year, Outstanding Conservation Partners

Margarita Munoz (right), 2016 NRCS Oklahoma Conservationist of the Year, on the farm with her son, Eddie Ware.USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Oklahoma is proud to announce the 2016 Conservation Partnership Award winners. Winners were recognized during the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts annual meeting on Feb. 27, 2017 at the Embassy Suites in Downtown Oklahoma City. Each winner received a personal letter from Gary O’Neill, NRCS State Conservationist for Oklahoma.

These annual awards recognize Oklahomans who are committed to natural resources conservation and who are vital to the NRCS mission of assisting private landowners with implementing voluntary conservation practices. The 2016 award winners are:

Tammy Curry, Murray County Conservation District, Shirley Hudson, Ottawa County Conservation District, and Iris Imler, Cimarron County Conservation District, receive letters of recognition from Gary O'Neill, State Conservationist for NRCS in Oklahoma, for their Outstanding Conservation work in 2016.Outstanding Conservation District Employee, Northwest Zone: Iris Imler, Cimarron County Conservation District
Excerpt from letter: “You have always been one to go above and beyond, and 2016 was no different…you singlehandedly operated conservation efforts in Cimarron County…The conservation partnership is proud of you, Iris. I’m proud of you.”

Outstanding Conservation District Employee, Northeast Zone: Shirley Hudson, Ottawa County Conservation District
Excerpt from letter: “…you have demonstrated an impressive commitment to conservation education—a vital component to ensuring future generations appreciate and care for our natural resources. The challenge of getting conservation on the ground is a task too great for any one person or entity, and it is exceptional employees such as yourself who make the work possible.”

Outstanding Conservation District Employee, Southwest Zone: Tammy Curry, Murray County Conservation District
Excerpt from letter: “As the conservation partnership continues to explore new opportunities to work together and combine limited resources, your work has been a vital component in that effort. As we move forward, it is crucial that conservation districts and other partners identify ways to “share the load,” and your demonstrated commitment to that philosophy is commendable.”

Outstanding Conservation District Employee, Southeast Zone: David Milam, Atoka County Conservation District
Excerpt from letter: “Oklahoma is blessed with some of the best conservation districts and district employees in the country. It is high praise, then, to say that without your assistance, conservation work in Atoka County would be greatly diminished.”

Dan Herald, Texas County Conservation District, receives a letter of recognition from Gary O'Neill, State Conservationist for NRCS in Oklahoma, for his outstanding conservation work in 2016.Outstanding Conservation District Director: Dan Herald, Texas County Conservation District
Excerpt from letter: “Your involvement in local conservation programs and community outreach is at the core of what conservation in Oklahoma is all about. Through your dedicated work with your local board, OACD and NACD, you’ve learned that without committed conservation district directors willing to get out into their communities and work directly with their constituents, locally-led conservation cannot be effective.”

 

 

 

Wynea Buford (second from left), NRCS District Conservationist for McClain County, and Gary O'Neill (far right), State Conservationist for NRCS in Oklahoma, present Cleveland and McClain County Conservation Districts with letters of recognition for their outstanding partnership efforts in 2016.Outstanding Conservation Partner: Cleveland and McClain County Conservation Districts
Excerpt from letter: “The robust cooperation between NRCS, Cleveland County Conservation District and McClain County Conservation District has made it possible for outreach efforts to be expanded in both counties and greatly increase workshop attendance… I’m confident that with the type of innovative thinking you have embraced, conservation has a bright future in Oklahoma.”

 

 

 

Margarita Munoz is recognized as the NRCS Oklahoma Conservationist of the Year for 2016. Her son, Eddie Ware, and his wife, Theresa Ware, accepted a letter of recognition from Gary O'Neill, State Conservationist for NRCS in Oklahoma, on her behalf.Conservationist of the Year: Margarita Munoz, Payne County Conservation District
Excerpt from letter: “From controlling erosion and cedar encroachment to fencing off riparian areas to aggressive rotational grazing, your land management is an example other ranchers should take note of. Further, your cooperation with Payne County Conservation District and NRCS to achieve your stewardship goals exemplifies the model of voluntary, locally-led conservation that has made working lands conservation a viable solution for sustainable agriculture."

 

 

 

News release: 2016 NRCS Oklahoma Partnership Awards (PDF, 152 KB)

Photo: Margarita on the Farm, Margarita Munoz (right), 2016 NRCS Oklahoma Conservationist of the Year, on the farm with her son, Eddie Ware. (JPEG, 3MB)

Photo: 2016 Outstanding Conservation District Employees, Tammy Curry, Murray County Conservation District, Shirley Hudson, Ottawa County Conservation District, and Iris Imler, Cimarron County Conservation District, receive letters of recognition from Gary O'Neill, State Conservationist for NRCS in Oklahoma, for their Outstanding Conservation work in 2016. David Milam, Atoka County Conservation District, not pictured. (JPEG, 4.35 MB)

Photo: 2016 Outstanding Conservation District Director, Dan Herald, Texas County Conservation District, receives a letter of recognition from Gary O'Neill, State Conservationist for NRCS in Oklahoma, for his outstanding conservation work in 2016. (JPEG, 3.81 MB)

Photo: 2016 Outstanding Conservation Partners, Wynea Buford (second from left), NRCS District Conservationist for McClain County, and Gary O'Neill (far right), State Conservationist for NRCS in Oklahoma, present Cleveland and McClain County Conservation Districts with letters of recognition for their outstanding partnership efforts in 2016. (JPEG, 4.19 MB)

Photo: 2016 Conservationist of the Year, Margarita Munoz is recognized as the NRCS Oklahoma Conservationist of the Year for 2016. Her son, Eddie Ware, and his wife, Theresa Ware, accepted a letter of recognition from Gary O'Neill, State Conservationist for NRCS in Oklahoma, on her behalf. (JPEG, 4.2 MB)