Brenda Valentine, a Henry County native and television personality known as "The First Lady of Hunting," was named the Tennessee Wildlife Federation's Conservation Communicator of the Year at the organization's June 21 Conservation Achievement Awards in Nashville.
"These awards recognize those individuals and organizations that have made truly meaningful contributions to conservation in Tennessee, and Brenda Valentine certainly fits that description," says Michael Butler, TWF's chief executive officer. "The great work of our past winners lives on today, and the current generation is building upon those successes. Without their willingness to take action, we would have failed in our mission, and we are proud to honor their contributions."
Valentine is the co-host of the award-winning Bass Pro Shops' "Real Hunting" TV program on the Outdoor Channel and "King of Bucks," a Versus Channel program. As one of two national spokespersons for the National Wild Turkey Federation, she travels extensively on behalf of the organization each year, including a trip to Afghanistan where she was part of the Outdoor Legends tour that was designed to give thanks and encouragement to our troops in Europe and Southeast Asia. Valentine, a member of the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame, says "there is more to conservation than talking about it."
"My husband and I own 300 acres in northwest TN that we strive everyday to make the very best wildlife habitat in the state or surrounding region," she says. "My happiest times are spent on the tractor and in the field improving food plots and woodlands, or just watching a diverse assortment of wildlife thriving because of our labor. I have used this property to introduce children - without opportunity otherwise - and disabled sportsmen the chance to enjoy an optimum hunting experience. The real conservation story is that the return is so much greater than the investment in so many ways. Everyone should be investing in conservation."
The Conservation Achievement Awards ceremony, now in its 48th consecutive year, was held at the Ed Jones Auditorium at Nashville's Ellington Agricultural Center with TWF board member and Nashville-based hunting and fishing guide Chris Nischan emceeing. Founded in 1946, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation is dedicated to the conservation, sound management, and enjoyment of Tennessee's wildlife and natural resources for current and future generations through stewardship, advocacy and education. To learn more, visit www.tnwf.org.