STATEHOUSE - Hoosier conservationists Al and Ida Meyer were presented with the Distinguished Hoosier award today for their service to Indiana through their tree conservation efforts and educational outreach regarding forestry and wildlife conservation. The Meyers were nominated by State Rep. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper).
The Distinguished Hoosier award is one of the highest awards given to Indiana citizens by the governor. It is awarded to those who have brought honor to the state through their character and accomplishments.
Al Meyer has received numerous awards for his efforts, including the Hoosier Heartland Outstanding Forestry Stewardship Award, the Indiana Wildlife Foundation's Forest Conservationist of the Year award, and a Certificate of Recognition from the United States Senate for he and his wife's contributions to the State of Indiana.
"The Meyers have devoted much of their life to forest conservation and are invaluable to the state for their dedication to protecting forestry and educating future generations about the necessity and merits of forest conservation," said Rep. Messmer. "It is certainly an honor to be given the opportunity to present them with this prestigious award."
A native of Ohio, Al Meyer grew up planting trees on his great-grandfather's farm; he came from a family of German foresters. Meyer served three years in the U.S. Air Force before returning to the States and obtaining a bachelor's degree in agriculture and a master's degree in plant science. Meyer moved to Indianapolis in 1950, where he met his wife Ida, and they eventually settled in Johnson County. The Meyers have acquired over 950 acres of land, providing the state with vast amounts of lumber, pulpwood, and Scotch pine trees over the years.
Al and his wife have also devoted much of their time to conservation education. The Meyers have opened their tree farms to the public to view and learn about conservation and wildlife. They have held "conservation camps" for Indiana teachers so that they may teach their students about forestry practices, and the Meyers have worked with various Indiana state universities to educate students and aid in herbicide studies. Al has also been a founding member of the Hoosier Heartland Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Indiana Forestry and Woodland Owners Association, the Johnson County Park System, and the Johnson County Park Tree Farm.
Meyer and his wife Ida received the award on March 8, 2011.