New Ulm resident named DNR firearms safety instructor of the year.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recently named Steve Rykhus of New Ulm as its 2014 firearms safety instructor of the year.
One of the DNR’s 4,500 safety instructors from across the state, Rykhus is a certified firearms safety , advanced hunter education, deer clinic, waterfowl, bow, ATV, and snowmobile safety instructor.
“Steve is an excellent example of how a great leader makes great teams, and gets the job done,” said Col. Ken Soring, DNR enforcement director. “Because of Steve’s leadership and a dedicated group of instructors, hundreds of youths and adults in Brown, Nicollet, and Blue Earth counties and beyond have received top notch safety training.”
The DNR’s Enforcement Division manages the state’s outdoor safety programs.
Rykhus lives in New Ulm but drives more than 60 miles to teach the safety programs in his hometown of Tracy.
State Conservation Officer Matt Loftness of Marshall has had a long working relationship with Rykhus.
“To have a volunteer instructor that is willing to take vacation time, use his own gas, and incur other expenses to make sure that our safety programs stay strong is remarkable,” said Loftness, who nominated Rykhus for the DNR award.
The DNR is always looking for experienced individuals who want to pass on the tradition of outdoors safety and responsibility to the next generation. If interested in joining the DNR as a volunteer, call 800-366-8917, ext. 2504, for information on becoming an instructor, or visit the DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/instructors/index.html