DNR honors 2 youth conservationists

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently honored two youth for demonstrating initiative, leadership, creativity and achievement in the conservation and wise use of natural and agricultural resources.

DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr made the award presentations Aug. 30 during a ceremony at the Minnesota State Fair. This is the 22nd year the DNR has presented the youth awards.

Lane Alm of Hawley received the Future Farmers of America (FFA) Award. For the past four years, he has worked on his “Diversified Horticulture” project, which began when he was 14 years old and got a job with Prairie Restorations Inc. – Bluestem Farm. He learned to identify native plants, their seeds, and how they can be used for landscaping around lake homes, businesses, and for erosion control. Alm also learned how to operate and maintain planting and harvesting machinery.

“In addition to his outstanding project and work experience, Lane is active in 4-H, the FFA Soils Team, and has been a National Honor Student member throughout high school,” Landwehr said.

He is also a football player, wrestler, deer hunter, raises horses, wins roping competitions, and refurbishes antique tractors. “This well-rounded young man also volunteers at the annual Rollag Threshing Show and is an officer for the Hawley 4-H and FFA Chapter,” Landwehr said. “This year he also won the Hawley Jaycees Outstanding Young Farmer Award.”

Alm graduated from Hawley High School this spring and started attending North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, N.D. a few weeks ago.

Lane is the son of Lee and Brandi Alm. Also present at the award ceremony were the state FFA advisors Joel Larsen and Jim Ertl.

Morris Area High School student Brady Cardwell received the 4-H Award. His project, titled “History of Wildlife Conservation in Minnesota,” focused on how and why various conservation organizations and clubs were started, and steps he has taken to learn about and improve wildlife habitat.

For his sixth-grade project, Cardwell researched milestones in conservation history and the various agencies responsible for wildlife conservation. He visited a number of public lands, interviewed managers, and observed a prescribed burn. He also researched and participated in events with all the major wildlife conservation clubs in his area.

Cardwell participates in archery, shooting sports, science and history fairs, and makes his own lures. He carved the Duck Unlimited logo into his pumpkin last year. He is active in his local 4-H club and Luther League. “Somehow he also manages to play football and is on the wrestling team,” Landwehr said.

Brady is the son of Douglas and Meriel Cardwell.

Also recognizing Cardwell at award ceremony was Dorothy Freeman, associate dean and state 4-H director and Nancy Hegland, extension program leader of 4-H youth development.