Pittsburg County Conservation District Bankers Awards
For 28 years the Pittsburg County Conservation District has built a successful partnership with area banks and other sponsors to hold the Pittsburg County Bankers Conservation Awards Banquet. Four banks and Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma currently sponsor the annual event, most recently on Oct. 21, 2008. The banks are The Bank N.A., The First National Bank and Trust Company, Arvest Bank and BancFirst. State Sen. Richard Lerblance’s law firm sponsors the location of the event at the Southeast Oklahoma Expo Center.
Bradley Hamilton, Pittsburg County Conservation District manager, said that about 280 people attend the banquet on average. The district presents first and second place awards in each division of the poster, essay and speech contests sponsored by the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts. The district also presents awards to the first place team and individual awards for junior and senior divisions in the county land judging contest. Three Outstanding Cooperators are honored as well as an Outstanding Educator and sometimes a Governor’s Conservation Award is presented.
“It’s a great opportunity to educate the public on conservation and to showcase district activities,” Bradley said. The awards presented, especially to youths, help get attention from the news media, he said.
The Bankers Awards program is a success story in itself, but this year the district had the opportunity to showcase another success — the purchase of a new poultry litter spreader to be available for rent from the district by local agricultural producers. The purchase was made possible through a Rural Economic Action Plan (REAP) grant from the Kiamichi Economic Development District of Oklahoma (KEDDO) with support from the Choctaw Nation, Oklahoma Conservation Commission and state Rep. Brian Renagar.