The Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are accepting applications for the $10,000 California Leopold Conservation Award. The award publicly honors California farmers, ranchers, foresters and other private landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of the state’s natural resources.
“It is an honor to be a recipient of the Leopold Conservation Award and to be affiliated amongst the other alumni who share a passion for conservation and are committed to sustainable practices in agriculture,” said Jack Thomson of C. Jeff Thomson, International, the award’s 2017 recipient. “I strongly encourage those who care deeply about conservation and agriculture to apply for this award.”
Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Leopold Conservation Award inspires other landowners and provides a public forum where farmers and ranchers are recognized as conservation leaders. In his influential 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac, Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage, which he called “an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.”
“Landowners learn best from one another, looking across fence lines, attending field days, and sharing stories of land stewards who have managed to achieve both conservation and profitability,” said Sand County Foundation President, Kevin McAleese. “The Leopold Conservation Award has much to contribute to this kind of peer learning.”
“Collectively, we save California or, collectively, we lose it,” said Ashley Boren, Executive Director of Sustainable Conservation, which has co-sponsored the award since its launch in California more than a decade ago. “The Leopold Conservation Award celebrates those deserving, but often overlooked, landowner heroes doing their part every day to steward our environment and the quality of life for all Californians. From clean water, to healthy air, to thriving wildlife, the ‘we’re in this together’ spirit of these individuals and their families keeps California leading in solving big conservation challenges.”
“Aldo Leopold was a pioneer in the concept of the ‘land ethic,’ a concept that resonates within California’s agricultural community,” said California Farm Bureau Federation President Jamie Johansson. “The daily practice of this ethic is demonstrated not only in the diversity of landscapes where our farms and ranches operate, but also in the diversity of crops that drive America’s most successful farm economy. The California Farm Bureau Federation is proud to partner with Sand County Foundation in awarding the Leopold Conservation Award to a California farm or ranch whose land ethic has developed creative and replicable ideas concerning the stewardship of the natural resources on its land while providing a sustainable economic stimulus that feeds our nation.”
Nominations must be postmarked by July 13 and mailed to California Leopold Conservation Award c/o Sustainable Conservation, 98 Battery Street, Suite 302, San Francisco, CA 94111. The award will be presented in December in San Diego, CA.
The California Leopold Conservation Award is possible thanks to generous contributions from many organizations, including Farm Credit West, American AgCredit, The Harvey L. & Maud S. Sorensen Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and Leopold Conservation Award Alumni.
For application information, please visit leopoldconservationaward.org.
By CDFA Office of Public Affairs