Presented at the inaugural Beretta Conservation Leadership Award Gala on Wednesday, Feb. 3, the award honors individuals who have demonstrated extensive contributions in both time and money to hunting, wildlife conservation, education and humanitarian services efforts. The Potterfields are well known for turning their passion for hunting and the shooting sports into a career by opening a small gun shop in 1977 that would become MidwayUSA. In working to protect the freedom to hunt and shoot for future generations, in 1992 they created the NRA Round-Up and Friends of NRA programs, which have generated millions of fundraising dollars to help protect the Second Amendment. But they were just getting started. The Potterfields went on to launch the Scholastic Shooting Trust, creating sustainable funding for shooting teams in high schools and colleges, and the Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience, a program that brings kids to key conservation-group conventions across the country, including the Mule Deer Foundation's Western Hunting and Conservation Expo and the National Wild Turkey Federation annual convention.
Recognized nationally and internationally as leaders in business and philanthropy, Larry and Brenda Potterfield have received the highest recognition in the business world—the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award—and the NRA's highest award—the Life of Liberty Leadership Award—in addition to the Ken Sedlecky Achievement Award, the Lynn Boykin Hunting Heritage Award and the Missouri Conservationists of the Year Award in 2010. In addition, they are members of the NRA Golden Ring of Freedom, the Marco Polo Society and numerous other hunting and charitable organizations. Brenda Potterfield is also a former NRA Board member. Last but not least, from the peaks of British Columbia to the plains of Africa, the Potterfields are avid hunters who enjoy their time together afield, taking more than 35 species of game animals on four continents.
On a personal note, I have been fortunate to know the Potterfields for 20 years, sharing a couple hunting camps along the way, and can say firsthand they are two of the finest people you will ever meet. In wanting to make a difference for the good of the group, Larry and Brenda remain motivated by their own experiences and values. The rest of us are seeing a lasting and tangible change as result of their contributions!By the way, guess what Larry was wearing when he and Brenda were called up on stage at the black-tie gala to receive their award? His NRA Golden Ring of Freedom jacket, which, of course, is gold. Now that's a very nice statement!