March 3, 2011

Miller Named Missouri's Outstanding Conservation Agent of the Year

As basketball teams across the state are heading into districts this week with aspirations of making it to state, one local law enforcement agent is returning home with a state title of his own.

Scotland County Conservation Agent Gary Miller recently was selected as the 2010 Outstanding Conservation Agent of the Year by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Miller received the award at the Missouri Department of Conservation Protection Division's annual conference held in St. Joseph in February.

The state of Missouri is divided into eight separate protection regions under MDC coverage. Miller was initially chosen as the Northeast Region's officer of the year from among the 16 qualifying field agents in the region.

MDC regional supervisor Benny Prior stated Miller was chosen to represent the 15 northeast Missouri counties and earned the right to be considered for the state award based on the merits and strengths of his job performance during the fiscal year that ran July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010.

Prior stated that the board of supervisors review each agents past year's accomplishments, targeting a well-balanced program that features law enforcement results, community involvement, public relations, hunter and safety education and training for landowners.

Miller's efforts along those lines earned him the title as the regional officer of the year and ultimately shined above the resumes of seven other regional winners to earn him the state honor.

"We expect our agents to do a lot more than just write tickets," said MDC Protection Field Chief Kurt Kysar. "So there is a lot more to this award than just enforcement."

Miller fit the bill, backing up a solid enforcement record last year with a long-standing commitment to community service. The MDC agent is highly visible in the community outside of work, volunteering as the American Legion baseball coach and serving on the SCR-I school board. The MDC agent is a regular guest in the classroom offering educational opportunities through the schools. Miller also hosts regular hunter education classes and also helps promote other training opportunities for hunters, fishermen and landowners. His work with NWTF and Pheasants Forever has helped insure an annual kids' fishing clinic every summer in Memphis.

Kysar stated the eight district supervisors met in Jefferson City late last year to consider the eight nominees, with Miller ultimately getting the nod as the 2010 Outstanding Conservation Agent of the Year.

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