MEMPHIS, Tennessee - Dec. 19, 2016 - Six Ducks Unlimited (DU) employees received conservation awards from the rice industry at the 2016 USA Rice Outlook Conference, held earlier this month.

Dr. Scott Manley, Ducks Unlimited's Southern Region director of conservation innovation, received USA Rice's 2016 Distinguished Conservation Achievement Award for his work on the National Rice Regional Conservation Partnership Project (RCPP).

The USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership educates policy makers on the importance of rice agriculture and its critical role in supporting millions of migratory birds.

"The work DU does with rice producers to implement conservation practices on private lands is phenomenal. They provide practical solutions that are win-win for all involved," said Al Montna, of Montna Farms, a California rice producer and co-chair of the Rice Stewardship Partnership.

USA Rice presented its inaugural Conservation Communications Award to members of the Ducks Unlimited communications team who worked closely with Manley to spread the word about the Rice Stewardship Partnership's efforts.

Communications Award recipients included Graphic Designer Karen Almand; Video Productions Manager Clay Baird; DU Waterfowling Heritage Center Manager Katie Burke; Southern Region Communications Specialist Andi Cooper and Print Services Manager Greg Taras.

"The Ducks Unlimited communications team excels at producing quality resources for promoting our conservation partnership with USA Rice," said DU Director of Communications James Powell. "We're very proud of their efforts and the awards, and we look forward to many more years of productive work on behalf of waterfowl, waterfowlers and the rice producers and other agricultural partners we appreciate so much."

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Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13.8 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit

Media Contact:
Gregg Powers