State Senator Garlan Gudger, R- Cullman and State Representative Wes Kitchens have been recognized as 2023 Alabama RC&D Senate and House Leaders of the Year by the Alabama Association of Resource, Conservation and Development (AARCD) Councils during the Alabama Mountains Rivers and Valley (AMRV) RC&D Annual meeting held at Guntersville State Park.
The award is given each year for showing leadership and dedication to the advancement of conservation and natural resources while promoting economic and community development growth in Alabama.
Senator Gudger serves as Chairman of the Economic Development and Fiscal Responsibility Committee and sits on the Finance and Taxation and Education Committee, which is responsible for appropriating funding for educational services and programs in the State of Alabama. He plays an important role in prioritizing spending.
Senator Gudger accepted the award on behalf of his Alabama Senate colleagues and recognized AARCD for its outreach efforts across the State of Alabama and the tremendous impact it has on improving overall quality of life.
“I’m honored to be able to receive this award on behalf of my colleagues because we all need to share in this success,” said Gudger, “We cannot do this without teamwork and I’m thankful to be on your team.”
Representative Kitchens serves as the Vice Chair of the Republican Caucus and sits on the Ways and Means General Fund, which is responsible for appropriating funding for general services and programs in the State of Alabama. He plays an important role in prioritizing spending.
Representative Kitchens thanked RC&D for the award and stated that the organization provides a valuable service to the State of Alabama and provides impactful outcomes.
“I’m fortunate enough to sit on the General Fund budget committee and this organization is always at the front of our minds when we’re getting to budget time because of the work you do,” said Kitchens.
AARCD Executive Director Katie Conner thanked Senator Gudger and Rep. Kitchens for their friendship and continued investment into the RC&D program which has made Alabama a national leader.
“Alabama RC&D is extremely blessed and have been put into a position where we are leading RC&D nationally,” said Conner, “Other states recognize that the relationship between RC&D and the Alabama Legislature is special.”
The RC&D program was established by the Agriculture Act of 1962 to provide a program that empowers rural people to help themselves. RC&D areas include adjacent counties that have substantial natural resources to use for economic improvement and community betterment.
There are nine RC&D councils throughout the state. RC&D Councils in Alabama are non-profit, tax-exempt organizations within the state that are designated 501(c) (3) entities by the Internal Revenue Service.
RC&D Councils are made up of citizens in an RC&D area who want a better life for themselves, their children, and future generations. RC&D Council representatives and alternates are volunteers who assist RC&D.