Federal Premium Remembers Noted Conservationist, Long-time Conservation Manager & 4-H Shooting Sports Pioneer Bill Stevens
ANOKA, Minn. –-(Ammoland.com)- Retired Federal Premium Ammunition Conservation Manager Bill Stevens passed away at the age of 72 on July 3, 2011.
He was monumental in helping shape conservation efforts and policies for both Federal Premium and the industry, and was responsible for launching the 4-H Shooting Sports Program.
Stevens’ battle with cancer ended peacefully in the loving company of son Andrew and wife Nila. His legacy, and the fruits of his efforts, will live on for generations.
Bill Stevens was known by thousands and thousands as a man who never stopped promoting his true passions—hunting, shooting, youth, family and conservation. Stevens earned countless awards for his efforts, but the outgoing and compassionate hunter dedicated himself for the simple reason that he cared. He worked tirelessly and traveled all over the country. He was a regular attendee at industry meetings, youth events and was Federal’s ear to the industry when some of the biggest issues and regulations were being decided.
Stevens was intricately involved in our industry’s transition to steel shot for waterfowl hunting. He worked hard to educate hunters and the outdoor media on the importance of this change—and how to get the best performance from steel shot.
From 1984-1986 Stevens also served on the Citizens Commission to Promote Hunting and Fishing in Minnesota, a group appointed by Governor Perpich. The main outcome from the commission was the Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) program, a kind of state-funded CRP and wildlife area acquisition fund. The critical habitat license plates now available in Minnesota are part of the RIM program.
After his retirement from Federal in 2007, Stevens continued to be heavily involved in 4-H, conservation and education programs. He attended several events on the company’s behalf even after a career that spanned more than four decades, and his true passion never wavered.
In fact, just last month Federal Premium Announced the first ever Bill Stevens 4-H Leadership Award winner. The award in his name highlights 4-H support and increasing development of youth conservation efforts. National 4-H Committee Member and extension educator Conrad Arnold was crowned with this honor. Arnold accepted the award Monday, June 20 at the 4-H National Shooting Sports Invitational in San Antonio, Texas.
Responsible for Royalty
Over the years, Federal Premium has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to organizations through on-box royalty programs. These programs were born and supported because of Stevens. He was instrumental in starting and growing royalty programs for the National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Safari Club International. These programs include organization logos on select Federal Premium® packaging and give dollars directly back to habitat. Stevens was also very active with the Ruffed Grouse Society and was involved in many projects involving land acquisition and development.
Remembering a Friend
Stevens had a unique ability to make connections with many different people from all types of backgrounds. He was known by everyone from industry leaders, to esteemed outdoor writers, to local youth leaders—and everyone in between. He was legendary for his cooking, recipes and uncanny memory for great restaurants in every part of the country—from huge cities to the smallest towns.
Those lucky enough to work with Bill on a daily basis, and share an office with him, will never forget the way he was every day. Even in retirement Bill would visit the Federal plant frequently. He was as warm and genuine a person as there ever was. He was a straight shooter with a great sense of humor and an unending wealth of stories, recollections and knowledge.
“Anyone who ever met Bill knows how much he will be missed,” said Marketing and Communications Vice President Kyle Tengwall. “Bill’s accolades and accomplishments speak for themselves. He was a true pioneer of the shooting sports and youth and education programs. Above all that, he brought a contagious enthusiasm and passion for work, family, the industry and the outdoors. Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of such a great friend, but our smiles as we remember Bill—and who he was and what he did—help ease the pain.”
A funeral service will be held in Fridley, MN Friday, July 8. Bill is survived by loving wife, Nila; son, Andrew; brother, John (Agnes); many other relatives and friends.
In the coming weeks, please look to www.FederalPremium.com as we continue to pay tribute to Bill.
About Federal Cartridge Company
Headquartered in Anoka, Minnesota, Federal Cartridge Company has been providing hunters and shooters with high-quality rimfire, centerfire and shotshell ammunition since 1922. It pioneered the Premium category of ammunition and is part of the world’s leading ammunition manufacturer, ATK Security and Sporting. For more information on Federal, visit www.FederalPremium.com.