Dr. Scott Manley, director of conservation innovation for Ducks Unlimited (DU) was the recipient of USA Rice's 2016 Distinguished Conservation Achievement Award. Manley works out of the DU Southern Regional Office in Jackson, Mississippi, where he oversees staff for the organization that who work directly on the National Rice Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project.

Last week, the rice industry's ever growing role in the conservation and sustainability sphere was spotlighted during the annual awards luncheon of this year's USA Rice Outlook Conference. 

Dr. Scott Manley, director of conservation innovation for Ducks Unlimited (DU) was the recipient of USA Rice's 2016 Distinguished Conservation Achievement Award. Manley works out of the DU Southern Regional Office in Jackson, Mississippi, where he oversees staff for the organization that who work directly on the National Rice Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project. 

Leo LaGrande, California rice farmer and chairman of the USA Rice Farmers Conservation Committee, said, "Scott was one of the architects behind bringing together USA Rice and DU to form the Rice Stewardship Partnership and as the son-in-law of a rice farming family and an avid waterfowl hunter, he has long been familiar with the synergistic benefits that rice and ducks provide for one another."

LaGrande added, "Scott has worked hard to make the partnership successful and is often joked about as a joint employee for both organizations."

The praise didn't end there for DU as USA Rice presented a special award, the 2016 USA Rice Conservation Communications Award, to the Ducks Unlimited Communications Team that works closely with Manley on the Rice Stewardship Partnership's outreach and education efforts. 

Award recipients include: Karen Almand, Graphic Designer; Clay Baird, Video Productions; Katie Burke, Heritage Center Curator; Andi Cooper, Southern Region Communications Specialist; and Greg Taras, Communications Productions. 

LaGrande highlighted the DU team's credentials, saying, "Part of the challenge that our industry faces within the realm of conservation and sustainability is our effectiveness at telling our story in a way that connects with consumers and the general public. This DU communications team has truly excelled at producing top-notch, professional resources that can be used by our sponsors, our farmers, and the media and they've been able to tout our successes in immeasurable ways."

This year marked the seventh time USA Rice has presented its Distinguished Conservation Achievement Award and the first time that a Conservation Communications Award has been given.