LAS VEGAS – On February 11th, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) recognized winners of its national service awards at the organization’s 2020 Annual Meeting Appreciation Banquet.

“There are so many people doing great work every day in the name of conservation,” NACD President Tim Palmer said. “It’s an honor to be able to recognize them for their dedication.”

Palmer and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Matthew Lohr presented the National Conservation Planning Partnership (NCPP)’s Hugh Hammond Bennett Awards for Conservation Excellence. David Daigle of Radley, La., received the award for producers in recognition of his innovative conservation efforts on his land. Emma Chow of Santa Maria, Calif., received the award for conservation planning, in honor of her over 10 years working one-on-one with farmers and ranchers to help them improve and protect their land.

Chief Lohr and President Palmer also presented the NACD/NRCS Olin Sims Conservation Leadership Award to Robby Bevis of Scott, Ark., for his extensive leadership ensuring conservation-minded farming techniques throughout the state of Arkansas are in good partnership with nature.

Allen, Shelly, Carol and Tony Dean of Dean Farms Cover Crop Sales and Service in Bryan, Ohio, received the 2019 NACD Friend of Conservation Award for their contributions to conserving the nation’s natural resources. The Deans work closely with Williams Soil and Water Conservation District, even offering to host their annual field Technology Day when the district’s budget had been cut.

The 2019 NACD Distinguished Service Award recipient, Angela Ehlers, is the executive director for the South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts (SDACD). Ehlers has been dedicated to the conservation mission for over 38 years. Her work for SDACD has made an outstanding difference in furthering conservation efforts in South Dakota.

The 2019 NACD President’s Award was presented to Jim Harreld of Madison, Miss. Harreld is a lifetime member of Friends of NACD and has recently served as the NACD Southeast Region Executive Board Member.

Earlier in the day, Chief Lohr and President Palmer presented Virginia Dare Soil and Water Conservation District in Chesapeake, Va., with the 2019 NACD/NRCS Earth Team Award.

The National Conservation District Employees Association (NCDEA) also presented annual awards yesterday, recognizing Anita Cowan of Marshall County Soil and Water Conservation District, Miss., as the 2019 Outstanding Conservation District Board Member and Celia Miller of Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District, Miss., as the 2019 Outstanding Conservation District Employee.

For more information on NACD’s annual awards, visit the NACD Awards webpage.

The mission of the National Conservation Foundation (NCF) is to identify and advance strategic programs and partnerships to deliver conservation solutions through locally-led conservation and to develop the next generation of conservation leaders. Learn more at

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.