MPF Annual Membership Meeting 12 Oct 2013 and Director Nominees

Missouri Prairie Foundation

Annual Meeting

Morton Prairie, Cole Camp

Saturday, October 12, 2013

4:30 p.m.


  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Election of Directors
  3. Other Business

Joint MPF and Hi Lonesome Chapter of the Missouri Master Naturalists reception to follow at 5:00 p.m. Bestowal of MPF Awards will occur at this time.

Directions to Morton Prairie: Cole Camp is approximately 20 miles south of Sedalia.  From Cole Camp, take Hwy. 52 west and go 0.75 mile. Turn north (right) on Klink Road (gravel) at the propane distributor. Go 1.5 miles and turn west (left) on Hi Lonesome Road. Go 0.5 mile to a gate on the south side of the road. Watch for signs and the big tent.

Slate of nominees to fill six Missouri Prairie Foundation Director vacancies:

Jan Sassmann of Bland, Missouri is a key influence at Prairie Star Restoration Farm in central Missouri, which she and her husband own. Her efforts to restore its landscape with native vegetation have resulted in awards from the private lands division of Missouri Department of Conservation, the Conservation Federation of Missouri, Quail Forever, and the Missouri Wildlife Society. Conservative estimates suggest that as many as 10,000 persons have visited Prairie Star Farm in the last three years. Jan has served as a Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) Director since 2010. She is a life member of MPF, the Conservation Federation of Missouri, and Quail Forever. Jan is retired after 34 years in public education.

Dale Blevins of Independence, Missouri, has served as an MPF Director since 2011, has been Chair of the MPF Fundraising Committee since that time, and has been a member of the MPF Science and Management Committee since 2012. Dale is an MPF life member, and a member for more than 20 years. Dale has participated in MPF volunteer workdays and prescribed burns. Dale was born and raised on a farm near Rich Hill, Missouri and presently manages 1,000 acres of farmland in Missouri, Iowa, and Texas. Dale is Scientist Emeritus with the U.S. Geological Survey, after a more than 30-year career as a hydrologist. Dale brings much valued education and experience to MPF in the following areas: hydrology, geology, water quality, including hydrological work on prairies and wetlands; experience in farm, land, and watershed management; grant applications and proposal preparation; supervision and leadership of scientists, technicians, and volunteers; is part of a network of scientists in federal and state agencies and academic institutions; and has a strong interest in preserving and restoring native landscapes to Missouri.

Scott Lenharth of Nevada, Missouri, has served as a presidential appointee on the MPF board of directors since 2011 and has been a member of the MPF Science and Management Committee since 2012. Scott is a life member of MPF, the Missouri Native Plant Society, and the Native Prairies Association of Texas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from University of Missouri-Rolla and a master’s degree in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M University. Prior to moving to Missouri, Scott resided in Austin Texas, worked for various companies including IBM and Dell, and assisted with land restoration projects with the Army Corps of Engineers, Austin Preserves Division, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Balcones Wildlife Refuge, and wildlands within the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. These projects included native tree, grass and forb planting, mapping of remnant plant populations in the 10-county area, seed collection, invasive removal, visitor center docent, leading field trips, and managing volunteers.  He is currently developing a phone app for monitoring plant species on MPF properties.

Susan E. Appel of Leawood, Kansas, became interested in MPF as a seed collector for Kansas City WildLands and through her volunteer work with Missouri Master Naturalists. An MPF life member, she has volunteered for six years with MPF, including at the MPF plant sale in April.  She has attended three of the four MPF Prairie BioBlitz’s, attended Grow Native! workshops, and volunteered two years for the Grow Native! program at the Kansas City Home Show. MPF’s work is her passion and Susan believes in its goals, as demonstrated by her continued support and volunteerism. She has volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America/Girl Scouts of America as Leader, Co-leader, Delegate, Chaperone; with Bridging the Gap for five years, and a recycling facilities for 15 years. She has served on the Verona Gardens Homes Association Board for four years, her local P.T.O. for five years, and the South-Broadland Finance Chair for two years. Susan mentored a Sudanese family through Don Bosco refugee division for 10 years. Susan completed her Missouri Master Naturalist training in 2009 and was voted Vice President for two years. Susan has experience in strategic planning, fundraising, and program planning.

Brian Edmond of Walnut Grove, Missouri, was raised with a background in agriculture, educated and trained as a wildlife biologist, and is currently employed in information technology. For many years, he has participated in volunteer workdays with The Nature Conservancy, the Ozark Regional Land Trust, and most recently in prairie management and prescribed burns with MPF. Brian has also embarked on a small-scale prairie restoration project of his own. An MPF member, Brian appreciates MPF’s conservation work, he admires MPF’s frugality of keeping overheard costs to a minimum, and he also feels that there is much prairie protection work to be done, particularly in northeastern Missouri. Brian is a board member and technical advisor for the Missouri Native Plant Society, webmaster for the Missouri Herpetological Association, webmaster for Midwest PARC, member of Staff Senate at Missouri State University, and member of the cook crew for Willard High School Marching Band.

Donnie Nichols of Warsaw, Missouri, became interested in MPF while working with the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC’s) Max Alleger and Steve Clubine who instilled in him a love of prairies, their ecosystems, history, and preservation. Donnie was part of MDC’s prairie-chicken reintroduction effort for past five years, traveling to Kansas each year to help with trapping and relocation efforts. He became a Missouri Master Naturalist in 2007 with the Columbia chapter and helped form the Hi Lonesome chapter in 2008. Donnie is an MPF member. Donnie has given talks to schools, organizations such as Audubon Missouri, and various civic and ecologically minded groups. For the past three years, Cynthia Green, in charge of educational programs for MDC, has asked him to speak and give tours for various groups. She has also asked him to be part of the curriculum for the Nature Unbound program. He has given hourly prairie tours for Cole Camp’s Octoberfest/Prairie Days events since 2008.