Are you a California farmer, rancher, or forestland owner who improves soil health, water quality, and wildlife habitat on your working land? Apply for the 2023 California Leopold Conservation Award®.
Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 25 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In California the $10,000 award is presented with state partners: Sustainable Conservation and California Farm Bureau Federation.
Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes landowners who inspire others with their dedication to land, water, and wildlife habitat management on private, working land. In his influential 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.
Nominations may be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may nominate themselves. Applications are reviewed by an independent panel of agricultural and conservation leaders. The application can be found at www.sandcountyfoundation.org/ApplyLCA.
The application deadline date is July 18, 2023. Email applications to email@example.com.
“As we deal with the intense fallout of the state’s recent storms, and the toll on our communities, our collective conservation ethic must guide how we build a climate-resilient future for our state,” said Ashley Boren, Sustainable Conservation CEO, which has co-sponsored the award since its California launch more than a decade ago. “California landowners are on the front lines of environmental stewardship. The Leopold Conservation Award celebrates these inspiring individuals and families, and we hope farmers, ranchers and other private landowners come forward this year to be recognized.”
“The Leopold Conservation Award provides outstanding recognition of farmers and ranchers who take steps every day to realize significant gains in managing their farms in a sustainable and profitable manner,” said Jamie Johansson, California Farm Bureau Federation President. “The awarded families are great examples of the generational appreciation farmers and ranchers have for their land. The stewardship they employ at their farms and ranches is reflective of California farmers’ and ranchers’ commitment to the environment.”
“As a national sponsor for Sand County Foundation’s Leopold Conservation Award, American Farmland Trust celebrates the hard work and dedication of farmers, ranchers and forestland owners,” said John Piotti, AFT President and CEO. “At AFT we believe that conservation in agriculture requires a focus on the land, the practices and the people and this award recognizes the integral role of all three.”
“Recipients of this award are examples of how Aldo Leopold’s land ethic is alive and well today. Their dedication to conservation shows how individuals can improve the health of the land while producing food and fiber,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and CEO.
The Leopold Conservation Award in California is made possible thanks to the generous support of American Farmland Trust, Sustainable Conservation, California Farm Bureau Federation, Sand County Foundation, The Harvey L. & Maud C. Sorensen Foundation, Farm Credit, The Nature Conservancy in California, McDonald’s, and California LCA recipient alumni.
The Leopold Conservation Award will be presented at the California Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting in December. The first California Leopold Conservation Award recipient was selected in 2006. Beretta Family Dairy of Santa Rosa received the award in 2022.
For more information on the award, visit www.leopoldconservationaward.org.
THE LEOPOLD CONSERVATION AWARD PROGRAM
The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. Sand County Foundation presents the award in California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont). www.leopoldconservationaward.org
AMERICAN FARMLAND TRUST
American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through its No Farms, No Food message. Since its founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and supported thousands of farm families. www.farmland.org
CALIFORNIA FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 31,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of nearly 6 million Farm Bureau members. www.cfbf.com
SAND COUNTY FOUNDATION
Sand County Foundation inspires and empowers a growing number of private landowners to ethically manage natural resources in their care, so future generations have clean and abundant water, healthy soil to support agriculture and forestry, plentiful habitat for wildlife and opportunities for outdoor recreation. www.sandcountyfoundation.org
Sustainable Conservation helps California thrive by uniting people to solve the toughest challenges facing California’s land, air and water. Since 1993, it has brought together business, landowners and government to steward the resources that we all depend on in ways that make economic sense. Sustainable Conservation believes common ground is California’s most important resource. www.suscon.org