MDC: Agent Matt Franks awarded NWTF Officer of the Year

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Howell County Conservation Agent Cpl. Matt Franks was recently named Missouri’s Officer of the Year by the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). MDC Protection Cpt. Gerald Smith said Franks’ exceptional personality and sensible approach to wildlife situations make him a worthy recipient for the award. 

“Franks does an outstanding job of enforcement of Missouri’s Wildlife Code, community involvement, public relations, and educational events,” said Smith. “His well-rounded approach to conservation, enforcement, and community engagement makes him an excellent selection for this award. He is the only agent assigned to Howell County, which is Missouri’s third largest county, covering more than 927 square miles and is home to more than 40,000 residents.”

Smith said Franks is involved with a variety of cases in the Ozark Region and has a good working relationship with the court system. But perhaps one of Franks’ strongest attributes as an officer is his passion for public engagement.

“Cpl. Franks is involved with a variety of public activities and conducts more radio programs than any other officer in the Ozark Region,” he said. Franks belongs to NWTF and Quail Forever. He also is involved with youth gamebird hunts and has been instrumental in developing events including youth frog gigging clinics and youth squirrel hunts.

Franks is involved with numerous community activities. He participates in the West Plains “Shop with a Hero” program each year, and he’s involved with his local Neighborhood Watch program. Franks is also a member of Future Farmers of America (FFA).

“He demonstrates a good attitude while working with the public and MDC staff,” said Smith. “He is well-respected in his community, and that’s apparent while patrolling with him. He treats everyone with respect and is often looked to for advice or assistance by co-workers in other branches.”

Franks was part of the 2009 Agent Training Academy and graduated in Sept. 2009. He has served in his current assignment of Howell County since Sept. 2009.

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