The National Association of State Conservation Agencies has named Idaho’s Curtis Elke its 2018 Outstanding State Conservationist.

He received the recognition at the National Association of Conservation Districts annual meeting in San Antonio in early February.

Elke has been USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service state conservationist for Idaho since 2015. The award recognizes the recipient’s willingness to collaborate with partners, including state agencies, to adapt NRCS operations to the needs of his or her state, prioritize the landowner or producer’s interest and provide training, according to a news release from Idaho’s Boise office.

NRCS in Idaho, which has a high percentage of public land, is known for its diversity of agricultural products and opportunities to collaborate across boundaries, public affairs specialist Mindi Rambo said.

Elke was nominated for the award by NASCA members in Idaho and Minnesota, where he was acting state conservationist for nearly six months in 2018.

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