HHB Award Eligibility
The National Conservation Planning Partnership (NCPP) created the Hugh Hammond Bennett Award for Conservation Excellence in 2017 to honor the legacy of Hugh Hammond Bennett by recognizing producers and conservation planners from within the NCPP partnership who have exemplified outstanding service through development and implementation of sound conservation planning and other conservation techniques.
Your assistance is requested to help us recognize an outstanding producer and conservation planner for the Hugh Hammond Bennett Award for Conservation Excellence. Those interested in making a nomination should notify their respective NCPP State partner leader. (Note: NCPP recommends taking this step to reduce duplication of efforts between the conservation partnership agencies within your state – NRCS, NACD, NASCA, RC&D, and NCDEA.) We encourage you to look at your current and past state conservation farmer/rancher award winners as a starting point for the application process.
If you have questions, please contact Stacy Koch, National Conservation Planning Partnership Coordinator, at Stacy.Koch@usda.gov or 570-925-5531.
The nomination round for 2020 is closed. Stay tuned for 2021 award announcements that will be posted here and in NCPP newsletters.
Any producer working with any of the NCPP partner organizations on conservation planning or implementation of a conservation plan is eligible for the producer award.
Conservation Planner Award
All NCPP partnership employees are eligible for the individual conservation planner award. Partner organizations are those recognized by NCPP at the national, state or local level.
Nominations must be submitted by an employee or member of a NCPP agency or organization. Those interested in submitting a nomination should notify their respective NCPP State leadership with a carbon copy to the NRCS State Conservationist. Nominations must be provided on the official form and submitted electronically to NCPP at email@example.com.
Evaluation of Nominations
A panel of judges represented by no more than two individuals from each of the NCPP partner organizations will evaluate and recommend the winners. All entries will receive equal review and evaluation. Award winners will be determined strictly upon the written explanation of their activities in the application and demonstration of their contributions to effectively provide assistance to customers relative to conservation planning and/or implementation of conservation techniques to address resource concerns and improve environmental performance. A point evaluation system will be used as follows.
Evaluation and Scoring Criteria for Producer Award
- Commitment to Conservation (0-10 points): Nominee shall have a current conservation plan and demonstrate commitment to following and monitoring their plan.
- Civic Engagement (0-10 points): Nominee demonstrates commitment to civic engagement and service at the local, state or national level. Civic engagement could be through elected or appointed service to a local soil and water conservation district; a resource conservation and development council; a local or state government body; or membership or service in other local, state or national organizations.
- Pioneer New Approaches to Conservation Planning and Implementation (0-10 points): Nominee shall embrace and incorporate into their management strategy new and innovative conservation planning tools (i.e., Field Print Calculator, 4-R Nutrient Stewardship, etc.)
- Advancement of Soil Health Adoption (0-10 points): Nominees not only have adopted soil health practices on their own land or operation but have also championed soil health through a variety of community outreach and educational activities.
Local Field Office Team Recognition
The team award will be presented to the local conservation planners and support staff who have provided assistance to the producer award winner.
A list of the individuals to be recognized should be included on the producer nomination form.
Evaluation and Scoring Criteria for Conservation Planner Award
- Communication (0-5 points): Provide details of the nominee’s ability to communicate effectively and cultivate personal and professional relationships with diverse groups of farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, state, local and tribal government officials, non-profit organizations and businesses relative to conservation planning and implementation techniques. Documentation can include presentations, articles, newsletters, tours, workshops and field days.
- Relations (0-5 points): Describe the nominee’s working relationships and development of partnerships with diverse groups of farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, state, local and tribal government officials, non-profit organizations and businesses relative to conservation planning and implementation techniques.
- Education and Training (0-10 points): Describe the nominee’s accomplishments in youth and/or adult education and training of others in conservation planning and implementation techniques including other staff, partners, local farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. The nominee should also demonstrate a commitment to professional development.
- Application of Conservation Planning and Implementation (0-10 points): Describe the nominee’s assistance and technical contributions that have led to the application of outstanding conservation planning, implementation, and monitoring techniques demonstrating innovation on a variety of land uses to address local resource concerns to improve environmental performance.
- Complexity of Work and Mix of Achievements (0-15 points): Describe the nominee’s work complexity and highlight the mix of accomplishments in each type of activity. The write up should illustrate the nominee’s commitment to and responsibilities in conservation planning and implementation of techniques to address resource concerns to improve environmental performance.
- Professional Activities (0-5 points): Describe the nominee’s activities and involvement with professional conservation organizations that have assisted the nominee in achieving outstanding application of conservation planning and implementation techniques, such as, but not limited to, the Soil and Water Conservation Society, Society of American Foresters, Ecological Restoration Society, The Wildlife Society, Society for Rangeland Management, American Society of Agronomy and American Forage and Grassland Council, etc.
Both the producer and conservation planner 2019 award winners will be formally recognized at the 2020 NACD Annual Meeting Appreciation Banquet on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The producer and conservation planner award winners are encouraged to attend the awards ceremony. Travel expenses will be paid by NCPP partners for all non-federal employees. Travel for any federal employee award winner will paid by their employer.
The local conservation planning staff providing assistance to the producer award winner are not expected to travel to the NACD meeting. They will receive a plaque at a later date as determined by NCPP national and state leadership teams.
In addition to the award winners, the top three to five nominations in each award group will be recognized in print and online in each NCPP partner organization’s newsletters and other outreach materials. Upon selection, the award winners will be contacted for providing additional information for print/online materials, including current photos.