Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are pleased to announce the addition of three new Farm Bill Wildlife Biologists in Missouri. These new biologists will work with area landowners and farmers to implement wildlife habitat conservation measures aimed at increasing quail and other wildlife populations. These positions were made possible through a partnership with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).
“Missouri was once the premier quail hunting state in the country, and through Quail Forever and our partners, it is now the premier state for bobwhite quail restoration,” said Elsa Gallagher, Quail Forever Regional Wildlife Biologist. “Ryan, Scott and Andrew have already made some major positive impacts in their respective communities for Missouri bobwhite restoration, and we are looking forward to what they accomplish for Missouri upland wildlife in the years to come.”
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Farm Bill Wildlife Biologists work to provide technical assistance to farmers and ranchers—through one-on-one consulting—regarding the benefits of conservation programs (such as the Conservation Reserve Program). By working with landowners to develop and implement individual wildlife management plans, these biologists represent the organizations’ on-the-ground efforts in ensuring landowners are aware of conservation program options. Pheasants Forever initiated the Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist Program in 2003 with 4 positions, and it has since grown to over 100 partnership positions located throughout the country.
Ryan Diener will be located in the Franklin County USDA Field Office in Union. Diener is a native of Missouri, and he received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Missouri. Since that time, Diener has been working as a Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist for Pheasants Forever in Oberlin, Kansas. He is an avid hunter and outdoorsman and is involved with several professional and conservation organizations. Diener will start in early April. He can be contacted at (636) 299-1140 .
Scott James will be located in the Scott County USDA Field Office in Benton. James is a native of Illinois, and he received his Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University. Since that time, James has been a waterfowl research technician on two projects in North Dakota, and in the bootheel of Missouri. James recently completed his contract with the Army National Guard, where he served time overseas. He has been interested in wildlife conservation work since childhood. James will start work on February 27th. Once he starts, he will be able to be reached at (573) 545-3593 / .
Andrew White is located in the Livingston County Field Office in Chillicothe. White is a native of Missouri, and he received his Bachelor of Science degree from Lincoln University in Jefferson City. Most recently, he worked for the Missouri Department of Conservation in the Private Land Services Division, as well as the Protection Division. White is also an active volunteer for the Four Rivers Quail Forever chapter. White started on February 21st and can be reached at (660) 646-6220 / .
“We want to thank the Missouri Department of Conservation, NRCS, our chapters and the rest of our partners who made these positions possible,” said Steve Riley, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Farm Bill Biologist Coordinator. “Partnership positions like these are the key to restoring America’s favorite game bird to Missouri’s rural countryside, and the Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist Program has a proven track record of putting quality habitat and wildlife on the ground.”
The Farm Bill Wildlife Biologists are employees of, and supervised by Quail Forever, with daily instruction and leadership provided by NRCS and MDC. Funding is provided by NRCS, MDC, Quality Deer Management Association and local QF chapters. The biologists jumped into their new jobs while at National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic 2012, held last weekend in Kansas City, Mo. Staffing the show’s Landowner Habitat Help Room, they helped 282 landowners with their wildlife habitat planning on over 120,000 acres.
For more information regarding Quail Forever’s Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist Program in Missouri, please contact Elsa Gallagher, Quail Forever Regional Wildlife Biologist for Missouri at (573) 680-7115 / . For all other inquiries, please contact Rehan Nana, Quail Forever Public Relations Specialist at (651) 209-4973.