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NACD Awards

NACD's Annual Awards Program recognizes individuals and organizations for their outstanding work and leadership in soil and water conservation. The 2018 awardees will be recognized at a ceremony held in their honor at NACD's 2019 Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, in February. Please submit nomination forms and any questions you may have to awards@email.nacdnet.org.

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Olin Sims Conservation Leadership Award

On December 7, 2007, conservation lost a friend and outstanding leader in NACD President Olin Sims. Sims was a rancher from McFadden, Wyo., who devoted years of distinguished service to conservation initiatives at the state and national levels. In tribute to Sims’ memory, and to help further promote and recognize outstanding conservation leadership at the state and local levels, NRCS and NACD jointly established the Olin Sims Conservation Leadership Award.

The award will be presented to one up-and-coming leader who demonstrates excellence in promoting and leading voluntary conservation on private lands. The nomination period is open through November 26. 

Nominations should be submitted in coordination between state conservationists and state partner leaders. Submissions must be limited to a single page describing the nominee’s leadership and volunteer service qualities, outlining the ways the nominee has served to promote conservation at the state or local level. Nominations should be submitted by email to nrcs.orc@wdc.usda.gov.


Hugh Hammond Bennett Award for Conservation Excellence

Sponsored by the National Conservation Planning Partnership (NCPP) whose members include the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), National Association of State Conservation Agencies (NASCA), National Conservation District Employees Association (NCDEA) and the National Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils (NARC&DC)

Invoking the leadership and dedication of Hugh Hammond Bennett, the father of the modern soil conservation movement and the first chief of the Soil Conservation Service (now Natural Resources Conservation Service), the Hugh Hammond Bennett Award for Conservation Excellence (Bennett Award) recognizes a producer and conservation planners from within the NCPP and our partners who have exemplified outstanding service through development and implementation of sound conservation planning and other conservation techniques. These awards are independent of one another.

The Producer Award will be presented to a producer who demonstrates a commitment to conservation planning, pioneering new opportunities, and a leader in the community. Any producer working with any of the NCPP partner organizations on conservation planning or implementation of a conservation plan is eligible for this award.

The Conservation Planner Award will be given to an individual who demonstrates a high standard of conservation planning and implementation for customers as well as sharing his/her/expertise with others. All NCPP partnership employees are eligible for the individual conservation planner award. Partner organizations are those recognized by NCPP at the national, state or local level.

Supported by the National Conservation Planning Partnership (NCPP), these awards will be presented at the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

For more details, please download the Hugh Hammond Bennett Award for Conservation Excellence Nomination Packet, and direct any questions you have to Stacy Koch, NCPP Coordinator at stacy.koch@wdc.usda.gov or 570-925-5531. Nominations must be submitted to Beth Mason at beth-mason@nacdnet.org (please notify your respective state leader: NRCS State Conservationist, State Association of Conservation Districts, Employee Association, State Conservation Agency or RC&D leader) by Nov. 9, 2018.


NACD Friend of Conservation Award

The nomination period has closed; winners will be announced at the 2019 Annual Meeting in February. The Friend of Conservation Award recognizes an individual, business, organization, or agency outside the association for outstanding contributions to the conservation of our nation’s natural resources. Any individual, business, organization or agency that is not directly associated with conservation districts at the local, state, or national level is eligible to receive this award. Nominations can be made by any individual, organization, agency or conservation district. The Friend of Conservation Award recipient will be selected by the NACD Awards Committee.

The award recipient will be honored at the NACD Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, this coming February. They will also receive complimentary registration for one day of the meeting, one complimentary ticket to the Appreciation Banquet, a plaque and national recognition in NACD publications.


NACD Distinguished Service Award

The nomination period has closed; winners will be announced at the 2019 Annual Meeting in February. The NACD Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual within the association, a conservation district, or a state association that has made significant contributions to the conservation and proper management of our nation’s natural resources. Nominees can be involved with districts or the association at any level, including past NACD officers. Nominations are also accepted for individuals posthumously and may be submitted by any individual, organization, agency or conservation district. The recipient will be selected by the NACD Awards Committee.

The award recipient will be honored at the NACD Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, this coming February. They will also receive complimentary registration for one day of the meeting, one complimentary ticket to the Appreciation Banquet, a plaque and national recognition in NACD publications.


NACD President’s Award

Chosen by the NACD President, this award recognizes an individual or organization that has been especially dedicated to advancing conservation during the president’s term.

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