Know a Nebraska rancher, farmer, or forestland owner who goes above and beyond in the stewardship of natural resources? Nominate them for the 2023 Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award®.
Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 24 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In Nebraska, the $10,000 award is presented with Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN), Cargill, and the Nebraska Environmental Trust.
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. The application can be found at www.sandcountyfoundation.org/ApplyLCA.
The application deadline is March 1, 2023. Applications can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or postmarked by March 1, and mailed to:
Leopold Conservation Award
5225 S. 16th Street
Lincoln, NE 68512
Selected recipients must be available for an Earth Day press conference, summer video production, and fall award ceremony.
“These award recipients 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 first Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award was presented to Wilson Ranch of Lakeside in 2006. The 2022 recipient of the award was Wine Glass Ranch of Imperial. To see a complete list of award recipients visit www.sandcountyfoundation.org/Nebraska.
The Leopold Conservation Award Program in Nebraska is made possible thanks to the generous support of American Farmland Trust, Cargill, Nebraska Environmental Trust, AFAN, Sand County Foundation, Farm Credit Services of America, Audubon Nebraska, Lyle Sittler Memorial Fund, McDonald’s, Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Nebraska Game and Parks, Nebraska Land Trust, Rainwater Basin Joint Venture, Sandhills Task Force, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, World Wildlife Fund-Northern Great Plains, and Green Cover Seed.
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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, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, 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
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
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
AFAN (Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska)
AFAN was formed in 2005 by the leading agricultural organizations in Nebraska with a focus on growing the livestock industry in Nebraska. Livestock is a sustainable way to add value to Nebraska crops and supports economic growth in rural Nebraska. AFAN works directly with producers to help them through the livestock decision-making process, with county officials to effectively place livestock facilities, and with state and local economic development teams to recruit new processing facilities to further add value to Nebraska’s agricultural products and energize the rural economy. https://becomeafan.org/
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products, and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments, and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and 150 years of experience. We have 149,000 employees in 70 countries committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact, and improving the communities where we live and work. We are passionate about our goal to be the global leader in nourishing people and operating responsibly across the agricultural, food, industrial, and financial markets we serve. https://www.cargill.com/
NEBRASKA ENVIRONMENTAL TRUST
The Nebraska Environmental Trust was established in 1992 to conserve, enhance and restore the natural environments of Nebraska. It was created on the conviction that a prosperous future is dependent upon a sound natural environment and that Nebraskans could collectively achieve real progress on real environmental issues if seed money were provided. http://www.environmentaltrust.org/