Hunting & Heritage  |  06/20/2024

Next Generation Invigorates Established Minnesota Chapters

Minnesota Regional Representative Chance Steward collects answers during a Pheasants Forever Trivia Pint night held at Half Bushel Brewing in Litchfield and hosted by the Meeker County Chapter.

PF on the Landscape: Pint nights, trivia events, wild game dinners and 5K races bring new faces to local committees

By Dave Schwarz

You can't teach an old dog new tricks, or so that saying goes.

But when it comes to several long-established chapters in Minnesota that time-worn saying just doesn’t hold true.

Regional Representatives Will Clayton and Chance Steward are seeing Minnesota’s Pheasants Forever chapters become more vibrant through unique events that attract new volunteers.

This trend led to the creation of a new chapter award, given at the 2024 state convention. The Next Generation of Forever award recognizes a chapter that “inspires progress, empowers changemakers and ensures forever.”

Chippewa County Pheasants Forever received the award. “A prefect mixture of the tried-and-true with new, innovative ideas has created a relevancy formula for this chapter. They are truly inspiring their community,” Steward said while presenting the award.

The chapter was recognized for doubling efforts in recruiting by giving decision-making power and ownership to new and reinvigorated creative thinkers within the chapter.

Chippewa Co receives award
Chippewa County Pheasants Forever chapter leader Tom Brusven receives the Next Generation of Forever award from Regional Representative Chance Steward during the 2024 Minnesota Pheasants Forever Convention at the Willmar Convention Center.

The new Next Generation award dovetails with another in Minnesota, the Focus on Forever award. Carver County PF received The Focus on Forever award this year for embracing new engagement and recruiting concepts, resulting in greater connection in the community and impact on the landscape.

The chapter has a long history of habitat restoration, including one of the premiere wildlife areas in the state. The Tiger Marsh WMA and Tiger Lake WPA complex comprise almost 800 acres of wildlife habitat just about an hour southwest of downtown Minneapolis.

Carver Co receives award
Carver County Pheasants Forever chapter leader John Hartman receives the Focus on Forever award from Minnesota Regional Representative Will Clayton at the 2024 state convention in Willmar.

Despite this history, the chapter was struggling. A new volunteer became involved and sparked new life. Now in addition to their annual banquet, the chapter hosts several experience-based events including a hands-on habitat day, youth hunt, chapter hunt and a wild game dinner.

“It’s so gratifying to see new volunteers get fired up about the mission. They’re finding new ways to connect in their communities and those connections are reaping amazing results,” Clayton said.

Dave Schwarz is the Minnesota Outreach Coordinator for Pheasants Forever

This story originally appeared in the 2024 Summer Issue of the Pheasants Forever Journal. If you enjoyed it and would like to be the first to read more great upland content like this, become a member today!