Teamwork is what best describes Dave and Nancy Lanners of Royalton, who have been named the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) 2013 ATV Volunteer Instructors of the Year.
“It’s an honor and privilege to be able to bestow this award on the Lanners,” said 2nd Lt. Leland Owens, recreational vehicle coordinator, DNR enforcement. “They are well-deserving of the award.”
Avid ATVers, the husband and wife team leads the instruction for youth ATV safety classes in the Pierz area, organizing up to three classes and certifying an average of 100 kids each year.
While Nancy coordinates the logistical side of the training, Dave heads up the team of classroom instructors. The combination has been effective for students, said Conservation Officer Paul Kuske of Pierz.
“Their welcoming nature, their ability to reassure and comfort nervous kids, instructing with a gentle voice and hand, all the while with a smile attracts participants from across the state,” said Kuske.
And they have lots of support.
The Lanners currently have 16 certified instructors, along with seven potential instructors who help out with classes. They also make it a point to involve parents of students in the classroom instruction. Even the Lanners’ children are involved with safety classes.
The Lanners, who have a family farm, applied for and were selected for a community youths programs grant through the agricultural company Monsanto. The $2,500 grant was donated to the Eastern Morrison County 4 – Wheeler Club to be used for ATV safety training.
DNR conservation officers work closely with 825 ATV volunteer safety instructors. Through the efforts of these volunteer instructors, about 3,000 ATVers have graduated from ATV safety education courses annually since 1985.
“Without the work of volunteer instructors, educating ATV operators would be an impossible job,” Owens said.
Minnesota law requires anyone born after July 1, 1987, must have a certificate if they are 11 or older and want to ride on public land, trails and frozen waters. The course also is available for adults.
Minnesota has nearly 350,000 registered ATVs.
For more information on ATV Safety Training go to: www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/vehicle/atv/index.html.