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County Leader to be Honored with Nilsestuen Conservation Award
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 07/22/2011

The Gathering Waters Conservancy has announced its first recipient of the Rod Nilsestuen Award for Working Lands Preservation. Alan Sweeney, who serves on the Rock County board of supervisors, will be honored for his work on agriculture land preservation later this fall.

Sweeney was instrumental in developing the county's Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement program, which is part of the Working Lands Initiative that former State Agriculture Secretary Nilsestuen help draft while at the Department of Agriculture.

A farmer himself, Sweeney cash crops about 1,000 acres of soybeans, corn and tobacco in the town of Porter.

He will be honored during the group's Land Conservation Leadership Awards banquet on September 29 at the Monona Terrace.

Also being recognized at the event is Jim Matson, who recently retired from the Department of Agriculture after 36 years of service. Jim was a driving force within the agency on the Working Lands Initiative. Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk will be honored as the Policy Maker of the Year. And Harold "Bud" Jordahl will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his many years of working at the Department of Natural Resources.

The Gathering Waters Conservancy is a statewide service center for Wisconsin's land trust community. Their mission is to help land trusts, landowners and communities protect the places that make Wisconsin special.

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