James E. Tillman Sr. and Dr. Ann M. Bartuska to speak at Rural Life Conference

Will Hehemann School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences


James E. Tillman Sr. and Dr. Ann M. Bartuska

PINE BLUFF, Ark. – James E. Tillman Sr., regional conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), will deliver the S.A. Haley Memorial Lecture at the 59th annual Rural Life Conference, Friday, Feb. 27, at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

Dr. Ann M. Bartuska, deputy under secretary for research, education and economics at the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), will be the luncheon speaker.

Tillman, an alumnus of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), has worked for the NRCS for 32 years and currently oversees conservation programs for the Southeast region and Caribbean Area. Prior to this position, he served as the NRCS state conservationist for Georgia for nine years, and as the deputy state conservationist for California before that.

In addition to a number of conservationist roles, Tillman served as a USDA/1890 liaison officer, and has worked in seven states.

Prior to her appointment with the USDA, Dr. Bartuska served as deputy chief for research and development with the U.S. Forestry Service from 2004 to 2010. Before that, she was the executive director of the Nature Conservancy’s invasive species initiative.

Dr. Bartuska is an ecosystem ecologist and has a Ph.D. from West Virginia University. She currently serves on the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, chartered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Sponsored by the UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences, the Rural Life Conference will feature several theme-related workshops.

Registration for the conference begins at 7:30 a.m. The opening session begins at 8:45 a.m. The conference theme is “Innovations and Opportunities: Sustaining Farmers, Families and Communities.”

Preregistration is requested of everyone, though the conference is free to farmers, ranchers, homemakers and retirees. Preregistration is $50 for professional and agency personnel and is $25 for students. After Feb. 13, late registration will be $75. To preregister, or for more information, contact Margaret L. Taylor at 870-575-7144.

The Convention Center is located at One Convention Center Plaza in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.


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