Burke Resident and NVSWCD Board Member John Peterson Receives National Honor


Kendall Elaine Tyree, VASWCD Executive Director
kendall.tyree@vaswcd.org, 804-559-0324; Toll Free: 1.800.727.6354

Lily Whitesell, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District
lily.whitesell@fairfaxcounty.gov, Phone: 703-324-1423, TTY 711

John Peterson accepts the Distinguished Service AwardThe National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) honored John Peterson, an elected director of the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District with the NACD Distinguished Service Award during its 2013 Annual Meeting in San Antonio. The Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual has made significant contributions to the conservation and proper management of our nation’s natural resources.

John has been a valuable advocate for conservation at the state and national levels. Peterson was nominated for the honor by the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD) where he also serves on the VASWCD Board of Directors, and is Virginia’s representative to the NACD Board of Directors. His distinguished career and service in soil and water conservation includes serving as a professional with the USDA Soil Conservation Service, as a local elected director on the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District in Fairfax County, and as Virginia's representative on the NACD Board of Directors; in addition to significant professional conservation work with a number of organizations.

Peterson founded KEMPS Consultants, Inc., with expertise in natural resources public policy, water resources, and erosion and sediment control in 1994 after a highly successful career at the top of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s federal Senior Executive Service. At retirement he was an Assistant Chief of the Soil Conservation Service (SCS, now called the Natural Resources Conservation Service – NRCS), one of the top line officers of that agency. He had also served SCS as the Deputy Chief for Administration, responsible for the SCS’s financial and personnel activities. John’s SCS career took him from MN, to SD, OH, IN, and AZ before coming to USDA Headquarters in Washington, DC. He started working with conservation districts in 1953 as a high school junior. He has been involved with our nation’s 3000 conservation districts in some capacity since that time. Since his retirement from USDA, John served as the Executive Director of the National Watershed Coalition (NWC), and has been on his local NVSWCD Board since 2006. He was re-elected to another four-year term last November. He is also a retired Army COL (INF) after a 32-year active and reserve career. John and his wife Blanche have five grown children and 6 grandchildren. They have lived in Burke since 1978.

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The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District is a local, independent government agency serving Fairfax County residents. Founded in 1945, NVSWCD is one of 47 conservation districts in Virginia and approximately 3,000 nationwide. The Conservation District promotes clean streams and protected natural resources, working to lessen the impact of urban and suburban activities on our land and water resources through effective leadership, technical assistance and outreach programs in collaboration with government, industry and the public.

The Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD) is a private nonprofit association of 47 soil and water conservation districts in Virginia and is classified accordingly as a 501(c)(5). The VASWCD Educational Foundation is nonprofit and classified as a 501(c)(3) organization that was established in 1990. The VASWCD is a voluntary, nongovernmental association of Virginia's districts. The VASWCD provides and promotes leadership in the conservation of natural resources through stewardship and education programs. Our mission is to serve and strengthen soil and water conservation districts in the stewardship of natural resources.

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