JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) congratulates 11 new conservation agents upon their graduation from MDC’s 2019 Conservation Agent Training Academy. The agent class of 2019 took the Conservation Agent’s Oath during a special graduation ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 8, at Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City.
“When I think of our conservation agents, you’re not only enforcers of The Wildlife Code of Missouri, but first and foremost, you are ambassadors for this agency,” MDC Director Sara Pauley told the new agents. “You have a responsibility to carry forward and mentor those around you. That includes in your work and in your community.”
The new agents have spent the past six months living at the Highway Patrol Academy in Jefferson City while receiving intense instruction in and out of the classroom. Training included courses in legal studies, communications and conducting educational programs, and first aid/first responder and CPR certification. Agents also received training in criminal investigations, defensive tactics, firearms qualifications, and technical instruction in fish, forest, and wildlife management.
Upon successful completion of this training, 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 Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training.
These 11 new agents will join the 179 existing MDC agents in serving and protecting Missouri’s fish, forest, and wildlife: Benjamin Bardot, Kyle Dick, Mathew Easton, Haeley Eichler, Christine Hibler, Drew Miller, Dirk Otterstein, Travis Phillips, Griffin Surtin, Alexander Walker, and Rachel Webster.
The new agents have been assigned to counties and will be involved in field training operations and special assignments while under the supervision of veteran field agents for a six-month probation period during which they will acquire vital field experience.
For more information about MDC careers, visit mdc.mo.gov.
PHOTO CAPTION: MDC congratulates the conservation agent class of 2019 for completing their rigorous training and taking the oath to protect Missouri’s fish, forest, and wildlife. Front Row (L to R) Commissioner Wm. L. (Barry) Orscheln, Alex Walker, Griffin Surtin, Christine Hibler, Rachel Webster, Drew Miller, Travis Phillips, MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. Back Row (L to R) Matt Easton, Haeley Eichler, Kyle Dick, Dirk Otterstein, Ben Bardot.