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St Paul (KROC AM News) - An Eyota man has been honored for his longtime involvement in one of Minnesota’s popular winter-time recreational activities.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Monday announced Todd Sanden has been selected as the state’s 2019 snowmobile safety instructor of the year.

The DNR says Sanden has been a volunteer snowmobile safety instructor for more than 25 years, working with the support from the local Hiawatha Sno-Seekers Snowmobile Club.

The DNR says Sanden and his late friend Randy Campbel began teaching classes through community education as a way to introduce kids to snowmobile riding and pass along their love for the sport. Sanden has taught snowmobile safety to multiple generations of families and is known as a strict but inspirational teacher who’s devoted to instilling the importance of safe riding to all of his students.

“Todd has a way of connecting with all of his students and does whatever it takes to ensure they understand that a successful snowmobile ride is a safe snowmobile ride,” said conservation officer Annette Kyllo, who is stationed in Rochester. “He’s selfless with his time and serves as a wonderful example for his students, and for all snowmobile riders. Snowmobiling is the safe sport it is today in large part because of the dedication of volunteer instructors like Todd.”

Sanden is among the more than 1,200 volunteer snowmobile safety instructors who work with DNR conservation officers to deliver snowmobile safety training certification.