Pheasants Forever (PF) and Quail Forever (QF) recently held its annual staff retreat in Lanesboro, Minn., during which employee awards were presented to members of the PF and QF national team. Ben Wickerham, a Michigan native and the state’s Pheasants Forever regional representative, was presented with the “Rookie of the Year” award. This award recognizes the employee who exhibits significant contributions in his/her first year of employment.

“Receiving this recognition from Pheasants Forever is among my top achievements in my professional career.  However, this was really more of a testament to the growing momentum of Pheasants Forever’s grassroots conservation mission among our Michigan chapters,” says Wickerham, “In the past year, chapters have exceeded expectations for contributions to the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative, have delivered an eight-year high for Legislative Action funding, recruited more members to our banquets, and set an all-time high for youth participation in outdoor youth events thanks to the help of Pheasants Forever’s new Michigan Youth Coordinator, Eric Larsen.”

Wickerham has been Pheasants Forever’s Michigan regional representative since September of 2011. Prior to his position with Pheasants Forever, Wickerham held various positions with Conservation Districts around Michigan, including the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts where he served as State Coordinator for the Envirothon program.

“In his first year with Pheasants Forever, Ben has excelled in all aspects of his role as the organization’s Michigan regional representative,” says Rick Young, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever vice-president of field operation, “From rallying awareness of our dedicated Michigan chapters, to working hand-in-hand daily with employees from across the country, to becoming a significant voice for Michigan’s Pheasant Restoration Initiative, Ben’s professionalism and conservation determination earned him, and Michigan, this well-deserved award.”

A graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in zoology, Wickerham is a second-generation Pheasants Forever volunteer. Over 26 years ago, his father helped form one of the state’s original Pheasants Forever chapters in Montcalm County. Wickerham currently lives in Flushing, Mich., with his wife, Elizabeth; son, Gus; and dog, Murphy.

Michigan is home to 37 PF chapters and combined over 8,000 PF/QF members. For more information regarding “The Habitat Organization” in Michigan, please contact Ben Wickerham at (517) 316-5106 / Email Ben. For all other inquiries, please contact Rehan Nana, Pheasants Forever public relations specialist, at (651) 209-4973 / Email Rehan.

Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 135,000 members and 720 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent, the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure.

Image courtesy Pheasants Forever

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