Mar 22, 2019
MEMPHIS, TN – Wetlands America Trust (WAT) recently elected George Dunklin Jr., a rice farmer from Humphrey, Arkansas, as one of its newest trustees. The WAT board is the land trust arm of Ducks Unlimited (DU), a world leader in waterfowl and wetlands conservation, and WAT is one of the largest accredited land trusts in the country.
Though Dunklin graduated from the University of Memphis with a degree in business management he decided to try his hand at farming on land his family owned near Stuttgart, the famed “Rice and Duck Capital of the World.” He quickly realized that traditional farming methods were having a detrimental impact on the area’s natural resources, and something needed to be done to preserve the wildlife habitat that is home to migrating waterfowl.
Dunklin joined DU when he was 16 years old so already understood the causal relationship between increased land use and decreased waterfowl habitat and knew the importance of conservation efforts to preserve working ricelands.
“George has the ability to eloquently champion our rice and ducks story, and has always led by example in rice and southern agriculture through his conservation activities,” said Josh Hankins, USA Rice director of grower relations & the Rice Stewardship Partnership.
Dunklin’s dedication to conservation priorities began as a grassroots DU volunteer more than three decades ago. From there, he moved through the ranks to become Arkansas state chairman, an at-large member of DU’s board of directors, senior advisory vice president for conservation, first vice president, president, and chairman.
“George’s philanthropic support is an excellent expression of concern for North America’s disappearing wetlands and his confidence in DU’s conservation efforts,” said Dan Thiel, WAT’s chief operating officer.