Alberta conservation leader John Hermans has been honoured for his lifetime of achievement and leadership in soil and water conservation by the Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC). Hermans was inducted into the Canadian Conservation Hall of Fame in Ottawa, March 5.
“Few people have made a greater commitment in Alberta to maintaining the quality of soils and water than John Hermans,” says Josie Van Lent, SCCC vice-president, who presented Hermans with his award.
Hermans, retired from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD), lives in Edmonton. He attended the University of Alberta and graduated with a B.Sc. in agriculture with distinction, and an M.Sc. in soil science. Hermans taught at the Vermilion College, the Forestry School in Hinton and worked with the Irrigation Division before accepting a position as the provincial soil conservation supervisor with ARD.
Serving as a manager with ARD, John formed the Conservation and Development Branch in 1983. The mandate included soil and water awareness, extension, research and soil and water monitoring. He co-ordinated the development of Alberta’s Agro-climate Climatic Information Service and guided the development and management of several federal-provincial environmental sustainable agriculture programs.
Hermans has received many awards. They include a Soil and Water Conservation Society award for developing soil conservation awareness films including “Gone with the Wind” and “Oh Gulley, Where’s the Soil;” AIA Distinguished Agrologist Award; Premier’s Award of Excellence — Alberta’s Reduced Tillage Initiative; Premier’s Award of Excellence — North American Waterfowl Management Plan; Growing Alberta Leadership Award; Alberta Emerald Foundation Award, Premier’s Award of Excellence-Coalbed Methane, Natural Gas in Coal consultation process; and was inducted as a member of the Green Team — Growing Alberta.