TIFTON — A handful of Henry County residents took part in the 51st Annual Natural Resources Conservation Workshop (NRCW) was held June 3-7, at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Ga.
Since its beginning in 1962, approximately 12,005 participants have graduated from the workshop. This year’s workshop catered to 153 high school students from 71 counties throughout Georgia, including two students from Alabama and five from Henry County Schools — Bradley Bowden, Zachary Dyer and Adam Ryniker from Ola High School; Quinton Olden from Union Grove High School; and Gray Simpson from Eagles Landing High School.
Students participated in field trips, recreational activities, and hands-on classroom learning, which provided opportunities to earn college scholarships at the end of the week.
Partnering with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, businesses and organizations sponsored the tuitions for most students. They were sponsored by the Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District. The Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors in Henry County are James Almand, Ronnie Turpin, Hugh “Bo” Simpson, Butch Oliver, and Amy Rollins.
“This workshop was an excellent opportunity for high school students who were interested in learning first-hand about the environment and our natural resources,” said NRCW Director Dennis Brooks. “Students learn the importance of conserving natural resources and the vital role these resources play in our daily lives. Many students make decisions toward an area of study in college or a career path because of their involvement in this workshop.”
Instruction and hands-on activities were led by professionals from Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, UGA Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission, and the Georgia Mining Association.
Twelve different core subjects were covered: Wildlife Law Enforcement, Wildlife Management, Soil Conservation, Backyard Conservation, Georgia Coastal Resources, Fisheries Management, Water Conservation Engineering, Understanding Soils, Rediscovering Georgia’s Water Resources, Forest Protection, Forest Management, and Mining & Conservation.
A four-part exam was given on the last day of the workshop, which covered the core subjects.
Thirteen college scholarships worth $18,450 along with $550 cash awards and plaques were given to students with the highest scores. Scholarships were provided by the following organizations: The University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, Georgia Association of Conservation District Supervisors, Natural Resources Conservation Workshop Scholarship Funds, Piedmont Conservation Products, the Blue Ridge SWCD/Young Harris College, Georgia Mining Association, Georgia Chapter American Public Works Association, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Foundation, Fort Valley State University, Flint River Soil & Water Conservation District and the Georgia Chapter of National Organization of Professional Black NRCS Employees.