Matt Harrison, DU

From Left: Mike Brasher with Ducks Unlimited, student Kayla Woods, Jerome Ford with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, students Maiya Duncan and Darian Walker.


The new Ducks Unlimited Tuskegee University student chapter had its first fundraising event Nov. 1 in Auburn, Alabama, setting an organizational milestone as the first DU event at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU).

“This was a piece of DU history, as these students hosted the first-ever event for an HBCU Chapter in our 86-year history,” said Cam Boland, DU Region 4 youth engagement coordinator. “For everyone at DU, it was an honor to celebrate this event and our shared interest in conservation for waterfowl and a healthier environment. Congratulations and thank you to the Tuskegee University Red Tails!”

“The event was awesome overall, the food was wonderful, prizes were off the charts, and the people were welcoming and Incredible. We are always grateful for our DU Family,” said Kayla Woods, president of the DU Red-tails Chapter.

Attending the event was Jerome Ford, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Program assistant director and graduate of Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana. Ford spoke on his path through an HBCU and how his education and passion for conservation led him to his role in national leadership.


Matt Harrison, DU

Jerome Ford addresses the crowd and speaks on his journey through conservation.

“Together, Ducks Unlimited and Tuskegee University have crossed a long-awaited threshold to expanding waterfowl and wetland conservation,” Ford said. “This collaborative union is an inclusive, respectful and innovative approach to maintaining stewardship integrity across varied communities. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proud to help both our partners shepherd this historic precedent-setting relationship with this renowned HBCU.”

Ford and DU staff presented 100 federal duck stamps to the first 100 people through the doors as part of another innovative conservation effort. In September, North Dakota resident Sam Soholt continued his “Stamp It Forward” campaign where he hiked 100 miles across the Prairie Pothole Region of North and South Dakota over three days to raise money for conservation. Sam purchased several hundred federal duck stamps with the contributions and donated a large portion to Ducks Unlimited.

“This was a very special night for conservation. For starters, thanks to Sam Soholt and the Stamp it Forward program, each attendee was given a 2023 Federal Duck Stamp,” said Neely Raper, DU regional director. “Then the wonderful message from our great friend and HBCU alum, Jerome Ford. I’ve not heard a more inspiring and important message at a DU event in my life.”


Matt Harrison, DU

Members of the Tuskegee Red-Tail Ducks Unlimited chapter, along with DU’s Cam Bowland (far left) and Neely Raper (far right), after concluding a successful event.

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing wetlands, grasslands, and other waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has restored or protected more than 16 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science, DU’s projects benefit waterfowl, wildlife and people in all 50 states. DU is growing its mission through a historic $3 billion Conservation For A Continent capital campaign. Learn more at www.ducks.org.

Media Contact:

Matt Harrison
Outdoors Experience Coordinator

(901) 325-3625