The National Association of Conservation Districts presented several awards recognizing leaders in conservation during a special awards banquet at the NACD 2012 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. Receiving the President's Award was Lee McDaniel, an NACD Executive Board Member from Darlington, Md. McDaniel, a beef and crop farmer who is deeply involved in conservation issues both locally and nationally, serves on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Advisory Committee. NACD President Gene Schmidt presented McDaniel with the award.
"As I look back over the past year, I am humbled by the fact that we are clearly making a difference for conservation at the national scale," said NACD President Gene Schmidt. "Someone who has been truly instrumental in helping us make the advances we have is Lee McDaniel. Whenever there's been a challenge or an opportunity, Lee has stepped up to the plate and gone above-and-beyond for the cause of conservation."
NACD's Distinguished Service Award was awarded to John Redding of Monroe, Ga., Ray Tschillard of Greeley, Colo., was named NACD's Friend of Conservation, and the NACD/NRCS Olin Sims Conservation Leadership Award was presented to Kimberly LaFleur of Plympton, Mass., by Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Dave White.
"Kimberly's accomplishments advanced locally led conservation in Massachusetts and is a tribute to Olin Sims," White said. "As president of Massachusetts Association of Conservation Districts, Kimberly exemplifies the spirit of Olin Sims through her strong leadership and creativity in raising funds, enhancing partnerships and initiating needed training for conservation district supervisors. She has been the guiding force behind locally led efforts in Massachusetts."
Other awards presented during NACD’s Annual Meeting include:
- NACD/NRCS Earth Team Winner: Mobile County Soil & Water Conservation District, Mobile, Ala.
- National Conservation District Employees Association (NCDEA) Outstanding District Board Member Award: Dan Ellison, Graves County Conservation District, Mayfield, Ky.
- NCDEA Outstanding District Professional Award: Pamela Hawkins, Craven Soil & Water Conservation District, New Bern, N.C.
- A special NCDEA Presidential Award was given to Linda Smith, retiring NCDEA Treasurer from Kentucky.