NORTH PLATTE –Weed Control Superintendents from the Sandhills Weed Management Area recently attended the 65th Annual Nebraska Weed Control Association Conference held at the Sandhills Convention Center in North Platte, February 6-8, 2012. Those attending were; Carol Conard – Blaine/Thomas county, Russell Stokes, Boone County, Doug Mulligan – Brown County, Shawn Owens – Custer County, JD Tetschner – Garfield County, Walter Bjorklund – Greeley County, Travis Mundorf – Keya Paha County, Lynn Strong – Loup County, Rod Stolcpart – Rock County, Darrell Kaminski – Valley County and Doug Reiter – Wheeler County.
Seventy counties were represented at the conference. To qualify for continuing education credit hours weed control superintendents are required each day to answer roll call morning and afternoon, then complete and pass an exam at the end of each day. This conference was one of four opportunities each year for county weed superintendent’s to obtain the required 20 hours of continuing education annually.
Speakers and topics for the conference included: Jerry Volesky, Grassland Recovery and Response After Wildfire; Steve Rolfsmeier of the CSC Herbarium, Native/Non-Native Plants; Kelly Sharp, Missouri River Watershed Coalition/ Wild Dakota/Public Relations; Jim Stubbendieck, Nebraska’s Dynamic Vegetation; Jim Gray, 2,4-D Task Force, Rod Stolcpart, Websites used for Job Enhancement; Brian Baxter, Union Pacific Bailey Yards; Karie Decker, EDDmaps; Bill Whitney, Prairie Plains Resource Institute; Scott Marsh, Kansas Dept. of Ag; and Michelle Koch, Endangered and Threatened Species Review.
The annual banquet and awards ceremony was enjoyed on Tuesday evening, with Leroy Janssen, NACO President and Rick Windham, keynote speaker as our special guests. President Bruce Rumsey of Clay County handed the gavel over to new NWCA President Charles Brooks of Phelps County. Brian Crabtree of Hamilton County was elected as the new NWCA Vice President. The 2013 conference will be held in Kearney.
Rookie of the Year
The next award is for the superintendent chosen as Rookie of the Year for the State of Nebraska. This superintendent has greatly improved the county program, and has increased communications with his county board, by involving them in the process of issuing legal notices.
He attended all four of the NWCA Training opportunities, helped out with Husker Harvest Days and the State Fair. He attends most Region 4 meetings, and is involved in the Sandhills Weed Management Area. THE 2011 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR IS WALTER “PETE’ BJORKLUND OF GREELY COUNTY.
SUPERINTENDENT OF THE YEAR
Since the day he was hired, this supt. has had a clear vision of what he has needed to do, to be successful at his job. In addition to the effort he puts into his day to day duties, he has chosen to be an active and sharing member in his region and in the local WMA. He is involved in Region II, the Leafy Spurge Task Force and the Sandhills WMA. He was a driving force in having the Sandhill WMA partner with pride to bring the Weed Watch to central NE. He was recently chosen to be the chairperson of the Sandhills WMA and is writing a blog on the SWMA website. Due to his work ethic, willingness to share information and his fearlessness in taking on new projects, this person has earned the admiration and respect of his peers not only locally, but around the state.
THE 2011 SUPERINTENDENT OF THE YEAR IS J D TETSCHNER OF GARFIELD COUNTY.
The Region II award goes to a superintendent that has brought his county program up to the next level. He works with local landowners well and keeps his board informed as to current issues. He is a member of the Nebraska Leafy Spurge Working Task Force, and is the vice-chairman of the Sandhills Weed Management Area. ALWAYS WILLING TO LEND A HAND OR TO TELL A GOOD STORY, DOUG MULLIGAN, BROWN COUNTY, IS THE 2011 SUPT OF THE YEAR FOR REGION II.