Larry Butler details a life in natural resources conservation with new book
By: Norman Martin
Larry Butler, a 1974 graduate of Texas Tech University's Department of Natural Resources Management, this week shared the announcement of the publication of his new book, "Out on the Land, Sharing Conservation Secrets."
The book includes stories of people and circumstances that influenced Butler to dedicate decades to conservation. In addition, the book features information on developing technical knowledge, skills, and abilities, well as stories of employee and leadership development.
A message on the author's website notes, "The breadth and depth of the author's experiences are weaved in the stories of working with ranchers and other land managers, conservation groups, and agency employees. Some stories are humorous, a few may strike an emotional chord, and all stories are factual and contain teachable moments."
Butler began his career as a soil conservationist for the Soil Conservation Service, now known as the Natural Resources Conservation Service, in San Angelo in 1974 following graduation from Texas Tech with a bachelor's degree in range and wildlife management. He then served as a range conservationist and district conservationist in Del Rio and as wildlife biologist in College Station, where he completed a master's degree at Texas A&M.
"My philosophy for working with others is to have respect for their land, their operation, their private information and their goals and then showing them proven methods that are science-based that can help them achieve those goals," Butler said.
Butler left Texas in 1987 and served as regional range conservationist for 13 western states after completing his doctorate degree at Utah State University in 1990. When the agency reorganized, Butler served the entire nation as a range conservationist in the National Grazing Lands Technology Institute. In 2002, Butler became the tenth Texas State Conservationist. Butler retired as state conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in 2007.
After retirement from the NRCS, Butler had a private consultancy for four years. He then created, produced, and hosted Out on the Land, a television show on RFD-TV. The bearded and bespeckled Butler took his academic training and on-the-ground field work to the airways every Tuesday and Wednesday for four years. Sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, the half-hour television series focused on exploring American landscapes and discovering how ranchers, farmers and other landowners take care of their land. Today, Butler writes and performs original western poetry, as well as serving as a featured speaker for small gatherings to large national convention audiences.
Awards for Butler include:
• International Society for Range Management's W.R. Chapline Stewardship Award (2016), the society's most prestigious award for rangeland stewardship
• National Grazing Lands Coalition's Distinguished Service Award (2015) for leadership in promoting grazing on "Out on the Land" on RFD-TV
• Texas Section Society for Range Management's Outstanding Contribution to Rangeland Management Award (2014), the section's highest honor
• Texas Tech CASNR Distinguished Alumnus (2007)
• Texas Tech's Range, Wildlife and Fisheries Department Outstanding Alumnus (2005)
CONTACT: Tracee Murph, Coordinator of Alumni Relations, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-7337or firstname.lastname@example.org
1118NM20 / For more information, see www.outontheland.com