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Ruston Conservationist Receives National Award

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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 Mike Rainwater of Ruston, La., 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.

"Mike 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.

"We owe a debt of gratitude to the conservationists who came before us, and to our veterans for keeping us free to hunt," Rainwater said. "I'm honored to receive this award, and thankful to the NWTF volunteers and staff, and especially to my family for being my pillar of support."

Rainwater is a member and former president of the NWTF Louisiana State Chapter Board and is a strong supporter of NWTF outreach programs. He's been an active member of the North Central Louisiana Chapter since shortly after it formed in 1985 and is currently an NWTF Patron Life Sponsor.

Larry Becker of New York, Ron Gleason of Massachusetts 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

2011 Convention Sponsors

MidwayUSA – Official Sponsor

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




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