Full Belly Farm Named 2014 California Leopold Conservation Award Recipient

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Leopold Conservation Award logoSand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are proud to announce Full Belly Farm as the recipient of the prestigious 2014 California Leopold Conservation Award®. The award honors private landowner achievement in the voluntary stewardship and management of natural resources.

Full Belly Farm is co-owned by Andrew Brait, Paul Muller, Judith Redmond and Dru Rivers plus second-generation owners Jenna Clemens and Amon Muller. It has been a certified organic farm since 1985 and is a pioneer for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) marketing. Located near Guinda in Yolo County, Full Belly Farm produces a variety of crops sold year-round directly to consumers through their CSA program, at farmers markets, in restaurants and stores, and to distributors.

The owners are dedicated to exceptional land stewardship and strive to balance the farm’s bottom line with environmentally sound practices. They are committed to fostering sustainability on all levels, from soil fertility and care for the environment to stable employment for their employees. Full Belly Farm has an extensive education and outreach program, including popular on-farm tours, events, children’s summer camp and a farm internship program.

“When it comes to farming in ways that promote the long-term health of California’s land, water, wildlife and food economy, there’s no better example than Full Belly Farm,” said Ashley Boren, Executive Director of Sustainable Conservation. “They’ve pioneered a truly sustainable approach to growing food that prioritizes soil health, natural inputs, water efficiency, and wildlife-friendly practices. They also have a long history of inspiring new generations of California farmers to find innovative ways to balance a healthy environment with thriving agriculture.”

“Responsible care for our land and other natural resources has allowed California farmers and ranchers to sustainably produce the food and farm products we all depend upon,” California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger said. “The Leopold Conservation Award recognizes outstanding examples of the stewardship that family farmers and ranchers perform every day.”

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. 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.”

The Leopold Conservation Award program inspires other landowners through these examples and provides a visible forum where farmers, ranchers and other private landowners are recognized as conservation leaders.

The 2014 California Leopold Conservation Award will be presented December 8 at the California Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting in Garden Grove. Each finalist will be recognized at the event, and Full Belly Farm will be presented with a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold and a check for $10,000.

The award co-sponsors also wish to congratulate the two finalists for their outstanding contributions to agriculture and conservation. Bruce and Sylvia Hafenfeld own Hafenfeld Ranch and manage public lands in eastern Kern County. John and Gail Kautz of Kautz Farms own vineyards in Lodi and the Sierra Foothills.

The California Leopold Conservation Award is made possible thanks to generous contributions from many organizations, including American Ag Credit, The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Orchards, Robert Giacomini Dairy, Farm Credit, The Mosaic Company, DuPont Pioneer and The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

For more information, visit www.leopoldconservationaward.org.

About The Leopold Conservation Award ®
The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. The award consists of a crystal award depicting Aldo Leopold and $10,000. Sand County Foundation presents Leopold Conservation Awards in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

About Sand County Foundation
Sand County Foundation is a private, non-profit conservation organization dedicated to working with private landowners to advance voluntary, ethical and scientifically sound land management practices for the benefit of the environment. Sand County Foundation works with private landowners because the majority of the nation’s fish, wildlife and natural resources are found on private lands. www.sandcounty.net

About Sustainable Conservation
Sustainable Conservation helps California thrive by uniting people to solve the toughest challenges facing our 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

About California Farm Bureau Federation
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 78,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members. www.cfbf.com