A Minnesota Hunter Education instructor from Spring Valley is being honored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for 50 years of volunteer service to the program.

The award will be presented on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 3 p.m. at the Spring Valley Sportsman's Club. The public is invited.

Rodney Skare of Spring Valley began teaching Hunter Firearms Safety Training in 1960. The Minnesota Hunter Education program was established in 1955. Since that time over 1 million Minnesotans have completed firearms safety training.

"Volunteer instructors are the heart and soul of the hunter education program in Minnesota," says Captain Mike Hammer, DNR education program coordinator. "The service of these dedicated men and women has made a significant difference in ensuring that hunting in Minnesota is safe, and hunters are ethical and responsible. No one knows how many injuries were prevented and lives saved because of their efforts."