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Locals attend conservation workshop
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Liberty County workshop participants Steven Crowley, Tonya Barlow and Cassie Standard were sponsored by the Liberty County Farm Bureau through the Coastal Soil and Water Conservation District. - photo by Photo provided.
The 47th annual Natural Resources Conservation Workshop was held June 8-12 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton. The workshop, which included 159 Georgia high school students — eight of which were from the U.S. Virgin Islands — and two chaperones, has graduated approximately 11,410 participants. Students from throughout Georgia attended a week’s worth of activities such as field trips and classroom functions with opportunities to earn college scholarships at the end of the week.
Workshop director Dennis Brooks said “this is an excellent opportunity for high school students interested in our environment and natural resources.  Students learn the importance of conserving our natural resources and the vital role these resources play in our daily life for future generations to come.  Many students make decisions toward a career or area of study in college because of their involvement in this Workshop.”  
Instruction and hands-on activities were led by professionals from the Georgia Forestry Commission, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Georgia Mining Association. Twelve different core subjects were covered: wildlife law enforcement, wildlife management, soil conservation, backyard conservation, Georgia coastal resources, fisheries management, conservation engineering, understanding soils, rediscovering Georgia's water resources, forest protection, forest management and mining/conservation.
Most students’ tuition was sponsored by local businesses and organizations through the soil and water conservation districts.  Steven Crowley, Tonya Barlow and Cassie Standard attended this year’s workshop and were sponsored by the Liberty County Farm Bureau through the Coastal Soil and Water Conservation District. Local Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors in Liberty County are Mr. M.L. Coffer and Mr. Earl F. Phillips.
Quizzes were given on the last day of the workshop, which covered the core subjects. Thirteen college scholarships worth $17,500 with $425 cash and plaques were given to students with the highest scores. Scholarships were provided by the Georgia Association of Conservation District supervisors, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Foundation, Natural Resources Conservation Workshop Scholarship Funds,  The University of Georgia’s Warnell Forestry Alumni Fund, Hearth of Georgia Technical College, Fort Valley State University, Two Georgia Chapter American Public Works, Georgia Mining Association, the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District, Piedmont Pipe Products, Pope-Dunaway and the Natural Resources Executive Committee scholarship.

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