Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Appoint David Zellmer to National Board of Directors

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. David B. Zellmer, to its National Board of Directors. Zellmer, Bishop Emeritus of the South Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), joins the 16-member board which meets quarterly and oversees the operations of Pheasants Forever, Inc. and Quail Forever.

“I look forward to working with David to continue advancing our habitat mission across the entire upland range,” said Matt Kucharski, the chair of the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever National Board of Directors. “David has tremendous professional and upland hunting experience, but he also truly understands the importance of community and stewardship. He will be a welcomed addition to our National Board of Directors.” 

A graduate of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, Zellmer was ordained in the American Lutheran Church in 1981 and began his ministry in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Wherever he has served, he has earned a reputation for community outreach, not just to Lutheran congregations, but for his presence in both civic and religious arenas. 

Zellmer became interested in bird hunting around the age of 14. While no one in his immediate family was a hunter, he was drawn to the outdoors and nature. His first outings were in the hill country of western North Dakota with neighbors, who supplied the shotgun, shells and a decent dog to hunt sharp-tailed grouse — he was hooked from that moment forward. Zellmer was 16 when his family moved to Oklahoma, and he discovered the world of quail hunting over pointing dogs.  

“It takes diligent work to preserve and enhance the landscape we inherit,” Zellmer said. “To be able to hunt requires an adequate and healthy habitat, which is why I’m so proud to now be a part of ‘The Habitat Organization.’ It takes a concerted multi-facet response, using all of our current scientific knowledge and best practices to conserve and enhance our habitat and wildlife, so that we can pass it to the generations who follow. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are at the forefront of preserving these landscapes, as well as the heritage that goes along with it.” 

Zellmer and his wife of 48 years, LaDonna Graves Zellmer, a retired college advisor, are the parents of four children—Christina (Jon) Nath; Joshua (Emily); Sarah (Allan) Johnson; and Michael (Jenna)—and are the grandparents of thirteen—Daman, Cella, Parker, Cooper, Christopher, Isabel, Brigston, Leone, Elin, Aidy, Carter, Brooks and Luke. The Zellmers  make their home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

About Pheasants Forever

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever make up the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. This community of more than 420,000 members, supporters and partners is dedicated to the protection of our uplands through habitat improvement, public access, education, and advocacy. A network of 754 local chapters spread across North America determine how 100 percent of their locally raised funds are spent — the only national conservation organization that operates through this grassroots structure. Since its creation in 1982, the organization has dedicated more than $1 billion to 580,000 habitat projects benefiting 26.5 million acres.

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Casey Sill