Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts
Dave Ferguson Scholarship
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Q – What do I need to cover in my essay?
A – Essay should include all four areas.
1) Define the benefits of healthy watersheds. Identify the many ways that healthy watersheds affect the quality of life for people. Discuss the beneficial roles of watersheds in healthy condition which can be surprisingly far-reaching and enhance ecosystems, economic benefits, and benefits to the landscape.
2) Give an overview of activities that can be implemented by landowners, farmers, organizations, and others to enhance and improve their water usage and management.
3) How the conservation district can help landowners address the resource concern that results from the lack of water resources management; conservation practices (talk with NRCS Staff if needed)
4) Provide an actual example of a landowner/organization who has been helped by the conservation district (May use photos & videos and district will help locate landowners, if needed)
Q – Who is eligible?
A – District residents who are currently high school sophmores, juniors or seniors, and who have a grade point average of at least 2.5 are eligible.
Q – What is the prize structure?
A – Each district that has a scholarship program is encouraged to offer a $250.00 scholarship. Areas are encouraged to offer a $500.00 scholarship. Scholarships given at the district and area level are solely at the discretion of the conservation district and area leadership. AACD awards one time scholarships of $1,000 and $500.
Q – What are the deadlines?
A – Districts should close their entry period on February 17, 2023. Applications should be received in the district offices by that date. Districts will then judge and send in the name of each winner to Area Presidents no later than April 21, 2023. Area contests will be decided, and winners' names sent to AACD in Little Rock by June 16, 2023. The Area winners will be judged by an independent body of judges with expertise in the subject matter. The State Winners will be notified by mail immediately after judging.
Q - When and how do I get my scholarship?
A – Once a student has registered at the college/university of their choice they ask the Office of Registrar to send a letter directly to AACD stating that they have been accepted for full admission. The funds are sent directly to the college/university as a credit. The funds can be used for room and board, fees & tuition, and books. Please note that we do not accept anything from the student's directly. The letter must come from the Office of Registrar and signed by the Registrar. Letters should be mailed to:
8100 Bicentennial Road
North Little Rock, AR 72118
Q – What can a district do to encourage student participation?
A – Use the enclosed materials to submit a news release to local newspapers and also on local radio and cable TV. Contact High School Counselors, 4-H Leaders, FBLA Sponsors, FFA Sponsors, Scout Leaders, and your County Extension Agents. Mail a scholarship packet with a cover letter, flyer and entry form to all those you contact. Place packets in the library, extension office and anywhere students might have the opportunity to pick them up. Don't forget to follow up!
Q – Where can I get more information?
A – There are numerous websites dedicated to forest management. Here are a few that might be helpful.
1) EPA - Benefits of Healthy Watersheds - US EPA - s
2) Natural Resources Conservation Service - Landscape Planning - NRCS Arkansas (usda.gov) -
3) ADA - Natural Resources Division - Natural Resources - Arkansas Department of Agriculture -