Season 1 | People You Should Know in Forestry and Natural Resources | Episode 18

#120 | As a leader, you have to become comfortable with discomfort

July 17, 2019 | Buddy Huffaker

Buddy Huffaker is Executive Director of The Aldo Leopold Foundation, a leading non-profit conservation organization located in Barboo, Wisconsin. Buddy joined the Foundation over 20 years ago as an intern and field botanist and can now run everything from a chainsaw to a prescribed burn! In today’s episode, Buddy shares a little bit about how the Foundation got started, what exciting new things the Foundation is working on right now, some of his lessons in leadership, and how students can get involved in its exciting projects! Get A Sand County Almanac for yourself and others, and share Buddy’s interview far and wide to help others understand Aldo Leopold’s vision of a land ethic and implement it in their daily lives.

Key Takeaways:

[1:00] A message from Leadership Nature.

[1:40] A quick intro about Buddy’s background.

[3:10] What got Buddy interested in natural resources?

[6:40] How did Buddy get started with the Aldo Leopold Foundation?

[9:25] Buddy shares a bit about the Aldo Leopold Foundation’s history and what they do.

[11:25] The Aldo Leopold Foundation is celebrating their 70 year anniversary of the A Sand County Almanac’!

[14:25] What projects is the Aldo Leopold Foundation focused on right now?

[19:40] Are you mentoring young professionals? Let them know about the Aldo Leopold Foundation’s programs!

[24:00] What leadership advice does Buddy have for young professionals?

[29:30] What is Buddy’s team like?

[32:25] What advice does Buddy have about leadership when it comes to teams and volunteers?

[35:35] Part of Buddy’s job is to help teach his staff how to “say no” to things because they have to prioritize!

[40:15] Partnerships are critical for any NGO, but what makes a good partnership succeed?

[46:30] Buddy offers ways you can support the Aldo Leopold Foundation.

[48:30] What is Buddy most proud of, so far?

Mentioned in This Episode:

Learn more about The Aldo Leopold Foundation here

Check out the Foundation’s Future Leaders Program here

What you should know about My Wisconsin Woods here

Connect with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources here

Look into the documentary “Green Fire” here

Connect with The Aldo Leopold Foundation on Facebook here

Follow The Aldo Leopold Foundation on Twitter here

Get A Sand County Almanac here

Read about Jim Pfitzer who embodies Aldo Leopold on stage here

Also mentioned in this episode, get The Power of the Positive No here

Buddy Huffaker, Executive Director

The Huffaker Family following a prescribed burn on the Leopold Pine Island Important Bird Area.

(l-r) Buddy Huffaker, Jim Pines, Yoyi Steele, and Mike Mossman discussing management of private lands for grassland bird habitat on the Leopold Pine Island Important Bird Area.

Buddy peeling a red pine, one of thousands planted by Aldo Leopold in the 1930s to be used for a purlin in the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center. The Center was the first LEED Platinum commercial green building in the world when it was constructed in 2007.

(l-r) Doug Duren, Dr. Stan Temple, and Buddy Huffaker outside the Aldo Leopold Foundation crane viewing blind on the Wisconsin River. In the fall thousands of cranes roost on sand-bars and are viewable from this blind.

Buddy sharing historical photos of the Leopold Shack on a guided tour.




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