Washington, D.C. – November 1, 2011 – Pete Berthelsen, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Senior Field Coordinator from Elba, Nebraska, is the recipient of the 2011 Farmer/Rancher Pollinator Award given by the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) and the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD). The award recognizes an individual or family in the U.S. farm and rancher community who has contributed significantly to pollinator species protection and conservation on working farms and wildlands.

Pollinators not only play a critical role in bringing food to the table, but they also provide important ecosystem support; including pheasant and quail habitat, wildlife viewing, local revenues, and basic wildland stability. Berthelsen, with his wife and co-winner, Laura, have implemented pollinator conservation on their own land with an outdoor education classroom where people from across Nebraska can see firsthand the importance of pollinator habitat. Through a number of tours targeted at landowner and resource-professionals, the Berthelsens have showcased the many benefits of pollinators, while demonstrating best-management practices for habitat preservation. As a result, many landowners have begun planting pollinator habitat on their own property. Watch a video of Pete Berthelsen showcasing quality pollinator habitat.

Berthelsen also helped secure many of the pollinator planting guidelines present in new Conservation Reserve Program practices across the United States, and successfully worked to make pollinator habitat a part of many other federal Farm Bill conservation programs. Berthelsen has served as a speaker at meetings across the country to help educate stakeholders and decision-makers about the importance of pollinators and pollinator habitat. “I am honored to receive the 2011 Farmer/Rancher Pollinator Award,” said Berthelsen, “The impacts of pollinators are felt in everyday life, and I am glad people are recognizing and understanding how large of a ripple effect these animals have.”

“The Berthelsens are true champions for conservation,” said NACD President Gene Schmidt. “Through their passion and leadership in natural resource preservation, they’ve made a positive impact not only in their local community, but across the nation.”

Through the annual Farmer/Rancher Pollinator Award, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, the NAPPC, and the NACD seek to encourage conservation stewardship and to catalyze future actions on behalf of pollinators through public recognition of the award winner.

For more information on this award, please contact Pete Berthelsen at (308) 754-5339 or Email Pete. For all other inquiries, please contact Rehan Nana, Public Relations Specialist for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, at 651-209-4973 or 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 130,000 members and 700 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.

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