About the Don Aron Scholarship

Objective of the Scholarship Program

The objective of the Don Aron Scholarship Program is to provide financial support to a conservation district employee or member of their immediate family who is participating in a resource conservation curriculum while enrolled in an accredited college or university.

Apply for the Don Aron Scholarship here.

2021 Don Aron Scholarship recipient Stephanie Barnes

Support the Scholarship Fund

Donations are being sought for a Scholarship Fund to help district employees and their families who are majoring in agriculture and agriculture-related studies.

The NCDEA Scholarship has been established in memory of Don Aron, who worked to organize the National Conservation District Employees Association. He also helped to establish the by-laws and served as the first President of our organization from 1992-1993.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to this fund can contact Gretchen Rank, NCDEA Treasurer:

Gretchen Rank, Treasurer
Mancos Conservation District
P.O. Box 694
Mancos, CO 81328
Phone: (970) 533-7317
Email: treasurer@ncdea.org

More about Don Aron

The National Conservation District Employees Association is not only proud of Don Aron’s 19-year conservation career, it is also indebted to him for his efforts in establishing the NCDEA.

This Scholarship was established in the memory of Don Aron for his foresight of a National Conservation District Employee Association. Don worked to organize NCDEA, establish Bylaws and served as the first President of NCDEA in 1992-1993.

Scholarships are for Conservation District employees and members of their immediate families who are pursuing continuing education in natural resource conservation.

As the manager of Wisconsin’s Wood County Land Conservation Department from 1974 to 1993, Don oversaw a variety of innovative programs dealing with wetlands management and restoration, groundwater research, and watershed management. In addition to these services he provided locally, Don recognized that conservation efforts are state and national issues.

In serving as an advisor to NACD’s District Operations Committee, he began coordinating a collective voice for the district employees. Don brought this concept to a full-fledged national organization in February 1992 and was elected as its first president.

Those that worked closely with Don stated that his dedication to his career encompassed several disciplines within the conservation field. He was a talented technician that was in charge of erosion control and soil preservation programs. He brought his enthusiasm to youth groups and churches and sponsored contests to spread information about conservation. He understood the importance of strengthening relationships among all the conservation partners and served as a member of the Partnership Task Force.

History of Don Aron Scholarship awards

Year Recipient Location
2021 Stephanie Barnes Arco, ID
2020 Sawyer Bernd Crookston, MN
2019 Miranda Palmer Owego, NY
2018 Brooke Kohout Harrington, DE
2017 Michelle Vedder-Drew Ghent, NY
2016 Justin Rhodes Weston, MO
2015 Donel Shelton Rutledge, TN
2014 Leslie Hinton Heathsville, VA
2013 Tanner Gotthardt
Phillip Boydston
Linn, MO
Odessa, MO
2012 Paula Kohout Dover, DE
2011 Tyler Austin Shaw Frankfort, KY
2010 Aaron McGinnis Albion, IN
2009 Aaron Smythe Torreon, NM
2008 Shilah Olson The Dalles, OR
2007 Richard Jacobs Culpeper, VA

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