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Texas NRCS Employee Receives Special Recognition

By Quenna Terry, Public Affairs Specialist, Lubbock

Clint Rollins, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) rangeland management specialist, was honored by the Texas Section Society for Range Management (TSSRM) with the Outstanding Contribution to Rangeland Management Honor Award during their annual meeting in Lubbock.

For 40 years, Rollins has provided technical assistance to ranchers across Texas while working for NRCS.  He has primarily worked in the Texas Panhandle region for the past 20 years as a grazing land specialist in collaboration with the Texas Grazing Land Coalition.

Jeff Goodwin, conservation stewardship lead and rangeland management and pasture consultant with the Noble Foundation, and former NRCS state rangeland management specialist said, “Mr. Rollins has not only earned the respect of his peers within the range discipline, he has earned the respect of ranchers across the state. Mr. Rollins is revered for his keen ability to apply practical knowledge and understanding to very complex rangeland issues based on sound ecological science.”

Rollins is widely known by landowners and partners and he has worked with staff from Texas Parks & Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wild Turkey Federation and AgriLife Extension Service to address issues concerning the Lesser Prairie Chicken and the Canadian River Salt Cedar Brush Project.

In other instances, Rollins has worked closely with Texas Tech University, AgriLife Extension Service and many other units of local, state and federal government on wildfire recovery in the Texas Panhandle on several occasions during large wildfire outbreaks.  He led the efforts in site monitoring, evaluating and reporting where Southwest Farm Press, BEEF magazine and the Amarillo Globe News quoted him during fire recovery.

Rollins has taken on outreach and educational responsibilities working through NRCS with Clarendon Junior College and West Texas A&M University on land and pasture judging contests. He gives annual presentations to partners, students, ranchers and employees during farm and ranch field tours, college classrooms, civic organizations and private groups such as the Native Plant Society.

He developed Range Health templates used in the Conservation Security Program (CSP) and provided training to NRCS employees while working in conjunction with New Mexico NRCS leadership. These planning documents were used in every NRCS field office in 50 Texas counties in the Panhandle region and served as a critical framework for rangeland management decision making. This kind of state collaboration is key to getting real conservation on the ground.

He again furthered his outreach efforts and developed rangeland educational pamphlets and books including:  Major Brush Species of the Texas Panhandle; Rangeland Management – Facts, Principles and Techniques; and Common Rangeland Plants of the Texas Panhandle a plant ID book.  Rollins also produced a collection of rangeland Power Point presentations on CD.  His educational books and presentations are widely used by universities, public schools, 4-H clubs, vocational agricultural teachers, soil and water conservation districts, county extension offices and landowners in multiple states including Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

Rollins is always finding ways to give back and making the time to mentor and train young rangeland specialists.  Every year he provides one-on-one training to nearly 75 NRCS employees, landowners and cooperating agency staff, and he provides training and assistance to organizations such as the Texas Panhandle Prescribed Burning Association.

Congratulations to Clint Rollins for a job well done!

Texas NRCS Employee Receives Special Recognition, Quenna Terry, USDA-NRCS public affairs specialist (2018, December)