Belgrade resident Chris Hildebrandt was named Ducks Unlmited Great Plains Region’s director of development of the year, the agency said in a releae.

“Chris blew the doors off his 2019 goals, helping raise more than $1.6 million in new commitments for waterfowl and wetlands conservation,” Regional Manager Eric Lindstrom said in a release. “He has worked tirelessly with DU’s volunteers to lead three of his state campaign committees to DU Presidential Merit levels, which recognizes growth in major donor donations.”

Hildebrandt, who is also a wildlife biologist, was raised in Southern California, which he says is “not very ducky.” A neighbor initially invited Chris on a hunting trip.

“Immediately, getting out on a wetland, I fell in love with the habitat and birds, and realized I wanted to do something with wetlands in my career,” Hildebrandt said.