News release: Rushford man named 2022 ATV safety instructor of the year

June 15, 2023

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has named Michael Halvorson, a Rushford resident, as the 2022 ATV instructor of the year.

Halvorson, who’s currently the vice president of the Bluff Country ATV Club, has been a volunteer ATV safety instructor for more than 12 years. The club does three classes each year. In addition, he’s a regional director for ATV MN and has been a trail ambassador for more than 10 years. The latter involves volunteers educating trail users, monitoring trails and providing information about safe and responsible off-highway vehicle use on public lands.

“Mike goes above and beyond to ensure all youth riders in the community have a solid foundation of safety before they head out on the trails,” said Phil George, the DNR Enforcement Division’s regional training officer in the area. “He puts in an incredible amount of time to ensuring all riders are safe and that riding opportunities will be there for future generations as well.”

According to Allen Kirchhof, president of the Bluff Country ATV Club, Halvorson is instrumental in planning, setting up and running the three annual courses, including setting up props, ensuring there are enough ATVs and finding locations for both the classroom and field components of the course. “Without his support, hard work, dedication over the years, community interaction and presence, our safety program would not be as good as it is now,” he said in his nomination of Halvorson.

Halvorson is among the nearly 1,000 volunteer ATV safety instructors who work with DNR conservation officers to deliver ATV safety training certification. Details about safety courses and training are available on the DNR website, as are ATV regulations.

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