News Archive
May 2024

Waterfowl and Delta agriculture, upcoming event

CTIC, Ducks Unlimited partner to host conservation workshop.

Recently, the Conservation Technology Information Center announced an upcoming workshop, Farming the Flyways, at part of their Conservation in Action tour. This interactive opportunity will take place at the Ducks Unlimited headquarters, June 10, in Memphis, Tenn. DUCKS UNLIMITED

At a Glance
  • Registration is open for the 17th annual Conservation in Action tour, hosted by the CTIC.
  • The tour will start the evening of June 10, in Memphis, Tenn; followed by a series of northeast Arkansas farm tours, June 11.
  • Registered attendees can attend a no-cost, pre-tour conservation workshop, hosted by CTIC and Ducks Unlimited.

Waterfowl hunting and rice farming naturally diverge in the Delta, and an upcoming event in Memphis, Tenn., is focused on the celebration of agriculture, wildlife, and rural traditions.

Ducks Unlimited (DU) has teamed up with the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) to host the “Farming in the Flyways” workshop in conjunction with the 17th annual CTIC Conservation in Action tour.

The in-person event will be held Monday, June 10, 12 to 4 p.m. at the DU national headquarters for registered attendees of the CTIC tour. This is an excellent chance to connect with other farmers passionate about conservation and learn from an exceptional slate of speakers.

CTIC Executive Director Ryan Heiniger is pleased with how the workshop has come together. He said, “This event is designed particularly for farmers and others in the ag industry who have a passion for wildlife and the region’s rich waterfowling heritage.”

Farming the flyways

Heiniger said the pre-tour workshop will start with a steak lunch, with beef shipped in from Black Leg Ranch. This beef is being brought to Memphis to set the tone and connect the flyways, Heiniger noted.

Black Leg Ranch is an award-winning ranch in North Dakota situated in the Prairie Pothole Region of the U.S., also affectionately known by hunters as The Duck Factory.

“I have had the personal privilege of being able to meet the Doan family and tour the ranch. I can attest to their commitment to stewardship first-hand. This lunch helps set the tone for connecting the breeding grounds for North American waterfowl, especially mallards and other ducks commonly seen over the decoys in Arkansas,” Heiniger said.

Attendees will hear presentations from waterfowl scientists and learn about cost-share opportunities for rice farming and habitat stewardship. Speakers include George Dunklin, manager of Five Oaks hunting lodge near Stuttgart, Ark., and past DU national president.

“George Dunklin is a leader in the industry who will bring a rice farming perspective to different management techniques to attract and hold waterfowl,” Heiniger noted.

The workshop with close with an interactive, open floor question and answer session, where attendees can ask some of the nation’s leading waterfowl scientists about habitat, duck ecology, and waterfowl hunting.

“There is also an opportunity to tour the DU headquarters, so a lot is packed into that four-hour window,” Heiniger said.

Conservation in Action tour

Following the workshop, the CTIC event kicks off with an evening social at the iconic B.B. King’s Blues Club on Beale Street. Carolyn Jones, director of the Mississippi Minority Farmers Alliance will deliver the keynote address.

Then on June 11, tour attendees will load the buses for a lineup of Arkansas farm stops that include Ellis Bell in Forrest City, Scott Matthews outside of Weiner, and Travis Senter near Osceola.

Lunch, sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America, will be served at Matthews’s farm. Heiniger said part of the lunch program will include a farmer panel discussion about conservation and soil health.

An additional a station will be led by Brad and Joyce Doyle, northeast Arkansas producers and recipients of the 2024 Conservation Legacy Award from the American Soybean Association. The Doyles are slated to discuss research conducted on their farm.

Learn more about the Conservation in Action Tour and find a registration link on the CTIC website at

Heiniger noted that for any farmer attending the tour, there is a 50% discount for registration. “We definitely want to make it as convenient as possible for farmers to attend and be part of the conversation,” he said.

Hotel stays can also be booked on the CTIC website, with a room block for the event at the Hyatt Centric in downtown Memphis. QR Code

Published Date: May 8, 2024

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