The Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) honored leading citizen conservationists and national resource professionals with the 2015 Conservation Achievement Awards at a ceremony held in Jefferson City on March 19.
Conservationists of the Year: Governor Jay Nixon & First Lady Georganne Nixon
Governor Jay Nixon and First Lady Georganne Nixon received the 2015 Conservationists of the Year. Marilynn Bradford, the Chair of the Missouri Conservation Commission, presented the award to the Nixons.
“Missouri has countless outstanding outdoor resources and opportunities, and for more than 80 years, the Conservation Federation has led the efforts to preserve and maintain those resources for the next generation,” Governor Nixon said. “We are very honored to accept this award, and are proud to continue to work with CFM and other organizations to encourage Missourians to enjoy and appreciate our rich outdoor heritage.”
In presenting the award, CFM highlighted several accomplishments, recognitions and initiatives of the Governor and First Lady, including:
▪ Governor’s 100 Missouri Miles Challenge
▪ Expansion of Share the Harvest
▪ Governor’s Youth Turkey and Deer Hunts
▪ The First Lady’s Children in Nature Challenge
▪ Cabins for Canines Program
▪ Governor’s Support of Missouri State Parks
▪ Governor’s Capitol Campout and Outdoor Days
▪ Our Missouri Waters Initiative
▪ The Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award
▪ 2015 Bass Pro Shops Conservation Partner of the Year
Outstanding Lifetime Achievement: Howard Fisher, Higginsville
Howard Fisher is a lifetime member and continues to serve and support CFM with passion as a past president and current board member. He continues to serve as an active member of the prestigious E. Sydney Stephens (past presidents) Committee. He served ten years as a co-chair of CFM’s Strategic Planning Committee. His leadership, dedication and service to CFM has been outstanding.
Conservation Communicators of the Year: Trevor Morgan & Nathan McLeod, Columbia
The Morning Shag, hosted by Trevor Morgan and Nathan “Shags” McLeod is broadcast by KCMQ from Columbia every weekday morning. This show is an effective means to keep conservation on the minds of thousands of mid-Missourians during their morning commutes. Effective communication is the key to public support and conservation progress. Trevor and Shags ensure every morning show is lively and entertaining.
Conservation Educator of the Year: Dr. Gina Wood, Springfield
Dr. Gina Wood helped open doors and built the foundation for the Discover Nature Teachers program at Missouri State University. This is a program designed to submerge future teacher in nature, giving them the knowledge, experience and confidence to use the outdoors to teach their students how important conservation is in our daily lives.
Conservation Organization of the Year: Greater Ozarks Audubon Society
Greater Ozarks Audubon Society (GOAS) engages in ongoing strategic planning to proactively meet the challenges of conservation in the Ozarks. They are made up of key volunteers and serve as a respected voice for conservation throughout Missouri. GOAS’s conservation leadership development has been recognized as exemplary within the national conservation network.
Forest Conservationists of the Year: Dale & Sue Deeker, New Florence
Dale and Sue Deeker have been involved with leading edge timber stand improvement with an ambitious goal in mind. They own and manage tracts of ground in Montgomery County that total approximately 540 acres. They have made their property available to the Missouri Department of Conservation to be used educationally for other property owners to visit and experience multiphase management goals as well as the proper techniques of conducting controlled burns.
Hunter Education Instructor of the Year: Bryan Livingston, Springfield
Bryan Livingston plays a key role in the delivery of hunter education in southwest Missouri. Bryan currently serves as the Children’s Minister with Crossway Baptist Church in Springfield. He incorporates the outdoors into the activities at his church. As of today more than 250 students have gone through hunter education under his direction. He is a top-notch instructor who believes in what he is doing and is committed to the cause.
Professional Conservationist of the Year: John Knudsen, Hermann
John Knudsen has many outstanding accomplishments in the field of conservation and natural resource management. He has served on the CFM Board of Directors for over 20 years. He has worked for the Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Department of Conservation and is currently employed by the Missouri Department of Agriculture. He has developed lifelong experiences in fisheries, wildlife, soil and water conservation, environmental science and public relations.
Water Conservationist of the Year: Andrew Austin, Springfield
Andy Austin has been a recognized leader for over 27 years within the Fisheries Division at eh Missouri Department of Conservation. His hard work, critical thinking, determination and leadership have served as an example to his peers and coworkers. He willingly takes on difficult tasks and shows true leadership in representing the resources and staff that he is dedicated to managing.
Wildlife Conservationist of the Year: Travis Moore, Hannibal
Travis Moore is a Fisheries Management Biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation. His forethought, planning, diligence and hard work were instrumental in coordinating the efforts to document the first natural lake sturgeon spawning since recovery efforts began in the late 1980’s. He continues to work with young fisheries biologists to carry on the strong conservation traditions in Missouri.
Youth Conservationist of the Year: Brooke Widmar, Sparta
Brooke Widmar posses the ability and potential to lead conservation and community efforts. She is an avid outdoors person, a community volunteer, a youth philanthropist, a skilled organizer, a fundraiser, an effective leader and a committed conservationist. At a very young age she was active in family camping and scouting. Those experiences have broadened her horizons and led to her passion and career plans to work to improve lives and living conditions around the world.
Conservation Legislator of the Year: Representative Linda Black, Park Hills
Representative Linda Black represents part of St. Francois County (District 117) in the Missouri House of Representatives. She is co-chair of the Missouri Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and on the Executive Council of the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses. She enjoys deer hunting, horseback rising, shooting sports and time working on her farms. She is a member of the National Rifle Association and Missouri Farm Bureau.
Conservation Legislator of the Year: Senator Eric Schmitt, Glendale
Senator Eric Schmitt currently serves St. Louis County and is becoming an avid outdoorsman after recently completing hunter education. He has made a positive impact in the areas of conservation and natural resources. He is a member of the Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and enjoys waterfowl, turkey and dove hunting.