In an award ceremony Wednesday in Montgomery, Ala. during the national observance of Soil and Water Stewardship Week, April 27 to May 4, 2008, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Gary Mast presented the 2008 Excellence in Conservation Award to Mike and Annie Dee of Dee River Ranch, Aliceville, Ala.
"True conservation of our natural resources can be achieved only when groups and individuals put their commitment to conservation into action," said Mast. "Annie and Mike Dee share their knowledge of conservation with communities and individuals across Alabama regularly and with distinction."
Joining Mast at the presentation was Alabama's Secretary of Agriculture, Ron Sparks, and Natural Resources Conservation Service Assistant State Conservationist, Zona Beaty. This award is the highest award the agency gives to honor those outside the Federal government for their work in conservation and recognizes the voluntary contributions of non-governmental individuals, groups, and Tribes through their conservation efforts in areas of technical assistance, programs delivery, technology transfer, outreach, or communication.
"In order to maintain our agriculture industry we must be good stewards of the land. And through the partnership of individuals like Mike and Annie Dee, along with local, state and Federal programs, Alabama has experienced the rewards of proactive conservation," said Sparks.
NRCS' conservation delivery system continues a unique partnership that began in the 1930s by delivering conservation that respects local needs, while accommodating state and national interests. For more information on NRCS, the conservation partnership, and conservation programs available in your community, stop by your local USDA service center, or visit NRCS online at www.nrcs.usda.gov.