Ohio’s Bill Richards recognized by national conservation district

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ORLANDO, Fla. – The 2002 Distinguished Service award was presented by the National Association of Conservation Districts to William J. Richards of Circleville, Ohio, at its annual meeting.

This top award is presented each year to an individual who has made significant contributions to the conservation and management of the nation’s natural resources.

During the awards ceremony, Richards was described as a “true conservationist” who believes strongly in the value of partnerships as a means of getting conservation on the ground.

Building bridges. After 12 years of active involvement in the conservation partnership, he said his main objective is to “build bridges between agriculture and environmental interests.”

History. His love for conservation germinated on his family farm, one of the first in the country to practice conservation tillage on the entire acreage.

His three sons continue to manage Richards Farms as a showcase for conservation.

He served as chief of the Soil Conservation Service from 1990-1993, during which time he initiated the highly successful National Alliance for Crop Residue Management.

He forged a close relationship with the National Association of Conservation Districts and spearheaded a formal partnership agreement among the districts, Soil Conservation Service, the National Association of State Conservation Agencies, and the National Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils.

Recently. In recent years he has been active in the conservation partnership as a member of the districts’ Farm Bill Implementation Committee, Conservation Delivery Systems Taskforce and Conservation Functions Work Group.

His public relations skills are currently being tapped to chair a marketing effort to communicate farm bill programs and benefits.

He is chair of the Conservation Technology Information Center and serves on National Association of Conservation Districts’ Business Alliance Council.

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