James Hatcher Awarded 2017’s Jerry L. Johnson Award for Public Service

Dan Alabama, Industry News Release, USDA-NRCS


USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Alabama announced that James Hatcher has been named 2017’s Jerry L. Johnson award winner. Hatcher was recognized at the 75th Annual Alabama Association of Conservation Districts (AACD) Conference in Huntsville, Alabama on November 13, 2017.

This award is given to an Alabama NRCS employee for “Excellence in Public Service through One’s Family, Employment, Profession and Community.” The nominated employee who exhibits the characteristics of Jerry Johnson’s spirit and concern for his family, fellow employees, the environment and his community is recognized annually.

The award’s 12th recipient is respected throughout his community because he gives unselfishly of his time and talents. James “Jimmy” Hatcher has worked tirelessly for the last 20 years in Barbour County to help landowners preserve God’s creation and be good land stewards. Over the years, he and his wife, Joy, have also devoted their lives to helping children who needed love and care while staying in the Alabama Sheriffs Ranches. He’s shown deep commitment to his faith by ministering and singing in his local church. And, his family has always been a point of great pride. Jimmy and his wife have two sons and four grandchildren.

“Jimmy is the epitome of excellence. He has dedicated the past two decades to conservation and community service. The selection committee was proud to present him with this year’s award because he has without a doubt, positively impacted several lives in his community,” said Ben Malone, State Conservationist for NRCS Alabama.

For over 30 years, Jerry L. Johnson served conservation in Alabama. As NRCS State Staff Forester, he worked with the conservation partnership to assist landowners with natural resource concerns. His work and dedication positively impacted the forest, wildlife, and water resources of our state. Jerry Johnson set a very high standard for professionalism and service to the community, and epitomized what it meant to be a good citizen. Jerry Johnson passed away on December 31, 2003 after a lengthy battle with cancer, only a few months after retiring from the agency.

Because of his service and membership on the Bradley Murphy Trust Board, the Bradley Murphy Trust was honored to support the creation of this award and continues to support to this day. The purpose of the Trust is “to encourage, promote, and develop the cause of forestry and other related natural resources within the private enterprise system of the United States and especially the Southern Region, and to promote the knowledge, education, and stewardship of the cause of forestry.”

Nominations for the Jerry L. Johnson award are accepted each year in August.