Greenfield Conservationist Receives National Award
Photo available upon request.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Volunteers are the driving force behind the National Wild Turkey Federation's conservation successes, and each year the NWTF recognizes the best of the best with the Roger M. Latham Sportsman Wild Turkey Service Awards.
This year Ronald Gleason of Greenfield, Mass., received a Latham service award for his dedication to carrying on the NWTF's mission of conserving wild turkeys and preserving our hunting heritage. He received the award in Nashville, Tenn., during the NWTF's 35th annual National Convention and Sport Show, themed "Our Youth. Our Legacy." MidwayUSA was the official convention sponsor.
"Ronald knows conservation, hunting and introducing people to the outdoors go hand in hand," said James Earl Kennamer, Ph.D., NWTF's chief conservation officer. "He is one of our most dedicated volunteers, and we are proud to recognize all he does to ensure that our children and grandchildren can live the hunting tradition for many years to come."
The Latham service awards are given to NWTF members who are not employed as professional wildlife managers, but have made significant contributions to wild turkey conservation.
"Even after 30 years of working with the NWTF, I never expected to win an award like this. It is one of the most humbling things I have ever experienced," said Ron Gleason. "When I first got involved with the NWTF, I was all about hunting, conservation and turkey transfers; now what matters most to me is working with kids. I was proud to help put together the first youth hunt in Massachusetts. It's a wonderful feeling to be able to take a child out and watch his first experience in the woods. I know one thing for sure: I have gotten way more from the NWTF then the NWTF has gotten from me."
Gleason has worked at local sports shows and taken part in NWTF hunts for youth in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He led the Turkey Hunters Care program, which provides holiday meals to families in need, for the local branch of the Salvation Army and appeared on TV shows promoting youth activities and the NWTF.
He has served as president of the Pioneer Valley Long Beards Chapter and is currently vice president of the state chapter.
Larry Becker, of New York, Mike Rainwater of Louisiana and David Truban of West Virginia also took home Latham service awards at this year's NWTF convention.
The NWTF is a nonprofit conservation organization. Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, spending more than $331 million to conserve 15.9 million acres of habitat for all types of wildlife.
The NWTF works to increase interest in the outdoors by bringing new hunters and conservationists into the fold through outdoor education events and its outreach programs - Women in the Outdoors, Wheelin' Sportsmen, JAKES (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship) and Xtreme JAKES.
For more information about the Roger M. Latham Sportsman Wild Turkey Service Awards or other convention highlights, call (800) THE-NWTF or visit www.nwtf.org.
2011 Convention Sponsors
Academy Sports and Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Bank of America, Benelli USA, Browning-USRAC, Call Makers and Collectors Association of America, Chevrolet, Federal Premium Ammunition, Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, HuntVe, Marlin Firearms Company, Mossberg & Sons Inc., Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Nationwide, The Outdoor Connection Inc., Remington Arms Company Inc., Rivers Edge Treestands, SHE Outdoor Apparel, U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, Weatherby Inc., Wild Turkey Bourbon, Winchester/Olin Corporation