NACD Honors National Award Winners

CONTACT: Sara Kangas, NACD Director of Communications
(202) 547-6223; sara-kangas[at]


February 12, 2020


LAS VEGAS – Yesterday, 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.


About the National Association of Conservation Districts:

The National Association of Conservation Districts is the nonprofit organization that represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, their state and territory associations and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. For more than 70 years, local conservation districts have worked with cooperating landowners and managers of private working lands to help them plan and apply effective conservation practices. For more information about NACD, visit:

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