Making a positive impact on the local habitat and community
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever chapter volunteers are the backbone of our organizations. They represent our boots on the ground, the pointy end of the spear, and provide the energy and passion that make our grassroots model and overall mission of upland habitat conservation thrive. That’s why we’re humbled and proud to share “The Next Generation of Forever.”
Leading up to National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic in Minneapolis Feb. 17th-19th, we’ll be celebrating select up-and-coming young volunteers from throughout the country who truly represent the future of our organizations. They have not only taken the ceremonial torch, but reignited the flame and are sprinting forward with it. So please join us in honoring and acknowledging…
The Next Generation of Forever
. . .
Nebraska: Cody Ringnecks Chapter of Pheasants Forever
TJ Hagert’s passion for the outdoors and Pheasants Forever’s mission shines brightly in his work for the Cody Ringnecks Chapter of Pheasants Forever. A father of three, an Iraq war veteran, and a bird dog enthusiast, he seeks to pass along the traditions of hunting wild pheasants in western Nebraska to his kids. Hagert was connected to the local chapter of Pheasants Forever after his place of employment was solicited for a contribution to the local banquet. Chapter leaders quickly realized Hagert’s interest in habitat conservation and invited him to join the organization. Soon thereafter, he started volunteering at Learn-to-Hunt events, taking new hunters afield and using his two German shorthaired pointers to provide quality experiences for participants.
In 2022, Hagert mentored multiple youth, including his son, Tommy, at the Cody Ringnecks annual mentored hunt. He’s now taken over as president of the chapter and helped to reinvigorate fundraising efforts, youth outreach, and mission support. His dedication for the organization’s focus on habitat conservation has been a major asset as he continues to lead his local chapter in new and exciting directions.
Wisconsin: Dane County Chapter of Pheasants Forever
Recently, Wes Kieler took the reins as volunteer president of the Dane County Chapter of Pheasants Forever since joining as a committee member in 2014. Kieler hit the ground running in his earlier volunteer years, upgrading the chapter’s banquet registration systems to make their fundraisers more efficient. In 2019, the chapter piloted an online ordering system and in 2022, they switched to an Events Center App to tip the scales with 60 percent online tickets sales in their inaugural year.
Since becoming president in 2022, the chapter coordinated and implemented a wildly successful Hands-on Habitat Earth Day event by removing over 3,000 pounds of fencing! Aside from the chapter’s incredible mission work, members have become lifelong friends because of their involvement with the organization. Meetings are not just business, they’re a chance to trade new and old stories, plan upcoming trips, and even bust each other chops for missing a few birds here and there on hunting trips together.
Looking forward, Kieler would like to see the chapter expand, grow through banquet participation, and engage more volunteers through various events while improving local habitat. The future of the chapter looks bright as Kieler and company pave a path forward for the organization’s conservation mission.
Minnesota: Martin County Chapter of Pheasants Forever
Thea Nutt brings excitement and enthusiasm to Pheasants Forever that is unmatched in her community. Always happy and thinking of fun and exciting things to do with community youth, Nutt has brought real purpose to her chapter’s education & outreach initiatives. She’s also involved with local senior care centers, raising gardens and planting flowers for all the residents to enjoy — while delivering results for pollinators.
Nutt is passionate about helping community classrooms learn more about pollinators and milkweed - raising monarchs with students and releasing them into pollinator plots that she has help cultivate at local schools. Nutt is Pheasants Forever — she lives it, she breaths it, she is the future of the chapter, and an inspiration to all chapter members in Martin County.
Are you interested in making a positive impact on your local habitat and community? Want to connect with likeminded individuals? Find a chapter today and discover how easy and fulfilling it is to get involved. No chapters in your area? Reach out to the Regional Representative in your area and we’ll work with you to find an opportunity to start your own chapter or find an alternative way to make a difference for upland habitat, wildlife, and public access.
This is part three in a continuing series. You can read the other parts here:
Next Generation of Forever: Part One
Next Generation of Forever: Part Two
Next Generation of Forever: Part Three