MidwayUSA founders receive Conservationists of the Year award

Thursday, March 24, 2011 | 5:35 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The Conservation Federation of Missouri named Larry and Brenda Potterfield the Conservationists of the Year for 2010. 

An awards committee judged the candidates based on resumes submitted by nominators. Of all the resumes presented, the Potterfields’ were the most outstanding, Ann Kutscher, chair of the committee, said.

“The committee selects the person who has done the most for our community and for conservation,” she said.

The Potterfields founded MidwayUSA, a company that sells hunting supplies. In 2009, the company received the Malcom Baldridge National Quality Award, which is the highest presidential honor for innovation and performance excellence.

“They’re initiators,” said Dave Murphy, executive director of the Conservation Federation of Missouri. “They are very proactive.”

Murphy said the Potterfields have a great commitment to getting young people involved in outdoor activities. They fund programs, provide staff members and maintain a farm for organizations to use, he said.

This year, they pledged to give $400,000 annually to four different organizations relating to young people’s involvement in outdoor activities, Murphy said, though he wouldn't provide the names of the organizations.

The Potterfields have financially supported many organizations, such as the National Wild Turkey Federation, Friends of the NRA and Conservation Federation of Missouri’s Share the Harvest Program. They have put millions of dollars into conservation, Murphy said.

“They are very committed to making this world a better place,” he said.

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Louis Schneebaum March 24, 2011 | 5:55 p.m.

"This year, they pledged to give $400,000 annually to four different organizations relating to young people’s involvement in outdoor activities, Murphy said, though he wouldn't provide the names of the organizations."

Why wouldn't he provide the names? I worked at Midway for a month, it was the worst experience of my life. It did, however, prompt me to re-enroll at the University and move on. The place is full of (rare) animal heads -- these people are big fans of killing stuff. You had to be a member of the NRA to even get your employee discount. If you were 1 minute late, they counted you for 15. Worst.

(Report Comment)
Andrea Braxton March 24, 2011 | 6:39 p.m.

Mr. Schneebaum,
Thank you for your comment. Dave Murphy said he wouldn't provide names because he didn't want to make the donation seem more special than the other financial support the Potterfields have given over the years. He just mentioned that particular donation as an example of their support of conservation.

(Report Comment)
Nathan Whitaker March 25, 2011 | 6:20 a.m.

Louis, let me see if I have this right:
A hunter, who founded a company selling hunting supplies, likes to hunt. Ok.
The company met their legal requirement to compensate you for the time you worked. An additional discount on merchandise they sold (which is not required by law and not offered at all by many retailers) had certain stipulations. Ok.
You were habitually tardy to work. Ok.

Thank you for sharing your comments.

(Report Comment)

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