Toni started out as an Earth Team volunteer during high school and has now come full circle not only as a full-time NRCS employee, but as a state and national award-winning Earth Team Volunteer Coordinator.
The Jackson County Conservation District, Holton, Kansas, was recognized for its use of volunteers and its varied projects, not only in its local area, but surrounding communities as well.
This past year, just a few of the projects the JCCD were involved in were:
Assisted with the vegetation plantings on a streambank stabilization project; hosted a no-till field day; hosted the annual Ag/Water Festival for 3rd and 4th grade students in 3 schools at Banner Creek Reservoir; hosted a Livestock-Drought Workshop to address winter cattle feeding, drought recovery in pastures, sericea lespedeza, and blue green algae in stock water ponds
The JCCD was also involved in many other projects throughout the year to include sponsoring an essay contest, hosting Women In Ag meetings, assisting in an Area Soil Judging Contest, and many other items.
Kansas NRCS State Conservationist Eric B. Banks gives credit to his state's Earth Team success to staff members simply taking a personal interest in each volunteer and encouraging them to explore new interests.
"Staff interviews each volunteer in order to find where they can best be used, and then we find appropriate jobs to fit their abilities and interest," said Banks. "I am very proud of the many dedicated Earth Team volunteers who have committed their time and talents in conserving and protecting the soil, water, and wildlife in Kansas."
For more information about being an Earth Team volunteer in Kansas, contact Jan Klaus, Volunteer Coordinator, 785-625-2588, or go to the Kansas NRCS homepage and click on Earth Team Volunteers. Additional information on the Earth Team Volunteer Program is available online or by calling 888-526-3227. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.