Educational, humanitarian efforts earn MDC’s Mayer state honor

SPRINGFIELD Mo -- A professional passion for teaching others about hunting and a humanitarian interest in helping her volunteer instructors recover from one of the worst weather events in Missouri history has earned Jean Mayer statewide recognition.

Mayer, a resident of rural Dade County, has been named the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) 2011 Hunter/Bowhunter Education Staff Instructor of the Year. This award is annually presented to an MDC employee, other than a conservation agent, who excels as a hunter education instructor and outdoor educator. Agents who are volunteer hunter education instructors are nominated under a separate category.

Mayer will be recognized at the March 8 meeting of the Missouri Conservation Commission in St. Louis and at the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) Conference May 29-June 2 in Kansas City.

Coordinating hunter education efforts in eight counties is part of Mayer’s job as an outdoor skills specialist in MDC's Southwest Region. In 2011 she definitely went above and beyond the call of her regular duties.

In the aftermath of the May 22 Joplin tornado, Mayer contacted all of her volunteer hunter education instructors in the Joplin area to see how they were faring. She learned three of her instructors lost everything. Jean and her husband Ric donated one of their vehicles to an instructor and coordinated the donation of another vehicle from a neighbor. She also led a donation drive to collect items and money to help hunter education instructors who had been affected by the tornado. She also took annual leave to volunteer to help remove debris from homes hit by the tornado.

In addition to these efforts, Mayer served on the 2012 International Hunter Education Association Committee, taught programs on basic rifle, women’s basic shotgun, NRA women’s handgun and basic archery. She also conducted 17 shooting programs utilizing the MDC Missouri Outdoor Skills Trailer and conducted two Basic Archery Instructor training classes to support the Missouri National Archery In the Schools Program (MONASP).

Mayer also readily shares her talents and knowledge with her co-workers. She teaches muzzle-loader, rifle, shotgun, Red Cross, CPR, first aid and wilderness first aid classes to other MDC employees. As if all this wasn’t enough, Mayer also conducts annual inspections of MDC un-staffed and cooperatively owned shooting ranges in the Department's 17-county Southwest Region.