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Warzecha Earns National Conservation Award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ralph Warzecha received national recognition from the National Wild Turkey Federation as a recipient of the Roger M. Latham Sportsman Wild Turkey Service Award for his service to the organization’s outreach mission.

February 17, 20243 min read

“While I am honored to receive this award, it is not about ‘I,’” Warzecha said. “For the volunteers in Minnesota, it is about teaching folks and getting them involved in the outdoors with first-hand experience to bestow confidence, guidance, spirituality, and we do what we do for the betterment of everything. We care about the future stewards of our wildlife.”

Warzecha received one of five Roger M. Latham Sportsman Wild Turkey Service awards during the NWTF’s 48th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show, sponsored by Mossy Oak.

The NWTF presents Roger M. Latham Sportsman Wild Turkey Service awards to members who are not employed as professional wildlife managers but have made significant contributions to wild turkey conservation. This award is named for Roger M. Latham who authored the Complete Book of the Wild Turkey,working as a research ecologist, conservation biologist and environmental planner for over four decades. This service award recognizes up to five outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions by volunteering their personal time, energy and money working to deliver the mission of the NWTF.

There is never a time Warzecha is not dedicating his time and talents to the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage. He is incredibly passionate about helping those interested to get outdoors and experience all that the natural world offers. His home in Eagle Bend has become a starting point where individuals gather to be mentored, to hunt, fish, sleep, eat and hone their hunting skills. Many stories have been shared and lifelong friendship bonds have been created and passed on to future generations at Warzecha’s home.

He wants to see others succeed and has a special way of working with youth and adults that makes people work together as a well-oiled machine. For example, he spearheaded another great youth event in Alexandria in 2023, an annual event that hosted 2,785 youth. He coordinated a four-lane shooting event for the kids, including patterning options for .410, 20 gauge and 12 gauge. He orchestrated the range master, shooting stations, registration area and turkey education area, and it all ran smoothly.

He spends hours checking turkey movement in his area, he is chairman for the Minnesota State Gun Calendar Program, and he helps out at chapter banquets that need assistance, while also raising money by hosting other events, such as gun blasts and gun bingo.

Warzecha has worked on several projects on his land, partly through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife program. One of his ventures was restoring and creating 22 ponds or wetlands areas. Along with that he also created 231 acres of prairie grass that allows animals to graze, hide or live in a largely natural setting. In addition, Warzecha is the president of the Struttin’ Blackbeards Chapter, one of the top fundraising chapters in Minnesota.

“Ralph embodies all of the quality characteristics of an exceptional volunteer; he is selfless, passionate, talented and highly motivated by the NWTF’s mission,” NWTF co-CEO Jason Burckhalter said. “We are proud to recognize him with a Roger M. Latham Sportsman Wild Turkey Service Award for his impact on the mission and sharing his passion with others.”   

About the National Wild Turkey Federation  

Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested over half a billion dollars into wildlife conservation and has positively impacted over 23 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The NWTF has also invested over $9 million into wild turkey research to guide the management of the wild turkey population and to ensure sustainable populations into perpetuity. The organization continues to deliver its mission by working across boundaries on a landscape scale through its Four Shared Values: clean and abundant water, healthy forests and wildlife habitat, resilient communities, and robust recreational opportunities. With the help of its dedicated members, partners and staff, the NWTF continues its work to provide Healthy Habitats. and Healthy Harvests. for future generations. 

Filed Under:
  • Convention and Sport Show
  • Healthy Habitats
  • Healthy Harvests
  • Hunting Heritage