JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) congratulates 17 new conservation agents upon their graduation from MDC’s 2022 Conservation Agent Training Academy. The agent class of 2022 took the Conservation Agent’s Oath during a special graduation ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 4 at Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City.
“Missourians have placed such high trust in this agency, and the best way to guard this public trust is to take care of our citizens,” said MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. “As a conservation agent, you play a key role in creating the customer experience and have the opportunity to positively impact so many people across the state.”
MDC Protection Branch Chief Randy Doman reminded new agents the importance of recognizing the conservation professionals that came before them.
“We are part of a storied conservation history here in Missouri, and now it’s your turn,” said Doman. “It’s your time to cultivate, to feed, and to grow that conservation ethic and protect the fish, forest, and wildlife resources that we all cherish today.”
The new agents spent the past six months housed at the Highway Patrol Academy in Jefferson City. They received more than 1,200 hours of intense instruction both in and out of the classroom throughout the state. Agents received training in criminal investigations, defensive tactics, firearms qualifications, and technical instruction in fish, forest, and wildlife management. Training also included courses in legal studies, communications and conducting education programs, and First Aid/First Responder and CPR certification.
Upon successful completion of this training, the agents are issued a Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) license from the Missouri Department of Public Safety. The conservation agent training program is also certified by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship.
The 17 new agents joining the 195 existing MDC agents in serving and protecting Missouri’s fish, forest, and wildlife include: Ryan Catron, Avery Crisp, Kenneth (Drew) Davis, Ricky Dawson, Cole Eidson, Nicholas (Nick) Freeman, Landon Leonard, Makayla Leppert, John Lowe, Austin (A.J.) Musche, Jacob Myers, Katlin (Katie) Potter, Samuel (Sam) Schick, Katie Stoner, Taylor Stutzman, Taressa Wise, and Paul Wright.
The new agents have been assigned their counties. However, they will be involved in field training operations and special assignments while under the supervision of veteran field agents for a six-week period during which they will acquire vital field experience.
For more information about MDC careers, visit mdc.mo.gov.
Left to Right: Cpt. Caleb Sevy (instructor), Ricky Dawson, Austin Musche, Drew Davis, Jacob Meyers, Landon Leonard, Katie Stoner, Ryan Catron, Taylor Stutzman, Cole Eidson, Avery Crisp, Sam Schick, Taressa Wise, Paul Wright, Katie Potter, Nicholas Freeman, Makayla Leppert, John Lowe, and Maj. Brian Ham (instructor).