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Finalists Selected for Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award

CAMP HILL, PA – Four finalists have been selected for the prestigious 2018 Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award®.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes farmers, ranchers and foresters who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat management on private, working land.

In Pennsylvania, the $10,000 award is presented annually by Sand County Foundation, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and Heinz Endowments.

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The finalists are:

  • Glen Cauffman of Millerstown: Cauffman grows corn, soybeans and alfalfa hay on a 190-acre farm with diverse topography and soils. A herd of 300 Angora goats produce luxury yarn for the fashion industry. No-till practices have been utilized since 1984 to prevent erosion, enhance water infiltration and improve soil health. Cover crops and crop rotation provide ecosystem diversity. Wetlands were created to provide wildlife and bird habitat. Cauffman previously served as manager of Penn State University’s farm operation facilities.
  • Frosty Springs Farm of Waynesburg: James Cowell uses a rotational grazing system for his herd of beef cattle. He built covered feeding and manure storage areas to reduce rain runoff. Woodlots and streambanks were fenced off from pastures. Such efforts earned him the Pennsylvania Cattlemen’s Association’s Environmental Stewardship Award in 2008. Efforts to educate the next generation of consumers and farmers include outreach with environmental science students, and 4-H and FFA chapters. 
  • Richard and Dohl DiFebo of Bangor: Harvest Home Farms raises grass-fed beef cattle. The locally-processed meat is marketed in local health food stores and delivered to New York City. The father and son converted highly erodible row crop land to grass pastures, installed contour strips, raise cover crops, use no-till seeding practices, and fenced off streams and ponds. These changes have benefitted the soil health, water quality and provide wildlife habitat. The DiFebos manage an outdoor classroom used to show the conservation benefits of certain grazing practices. 
  • Donald and Donna Feusner of Athens: The Feusners have followed a nutrient management plan on their beef cattle farm since the 1980s. Conservation practices of contour strip cropping, planting winter cover crops, strategic crop rotation and diversion ditches have preserved top soil, maximized soil fertility and reduced runoff. In partnerships with the Bradford County Conservation District, the Feusners planted trees on and fenced off their land along Cullard Creek.

The award will be presented at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in January.

“We are thrilled with the overall quality of applicants we received from farms across the state, especially when you consider it is the first year Pennsylvania is participating in the Leopold Conservation Award,” said Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President Rick Ebert. “The four finalists, who are located in different agricultural regions around the Commonwealth, have demonstrated a substantial commitment to improving the environment through the implementation of best management practices.”

“Care of land and water resources is deeply ingrained in the stewardship culture of Pennsylvania’s farmers and foresters,” Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “The 2019 Farm Show will focus on telling the inspirational stories of Pennsylvania agriculture conservation ethic to an audience of millions who visit in person and through the media. The department is proud to shine the Farm Show spotlight on agriculturists who inspire others by honoring Aldo Leopold’s legacy of conservation.”

The Leopold Conservation Award in Pennsylvania is made possible thanks to the generous contributions from platinum sponsor, Heinz Endowments, and the assistance and support of Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, USDA NRCS, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Center for Dairy Excellence, and Dairymen’s Association.

Sand County Foundation presents the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 14 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation.

For more information on the award, visit www.leopoldconservationaward.org.

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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, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

SAND COUNTY FOUNDATION 

Sand County Foundation is a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to working with private landowners across North America to advance ethical and scientifically sound land management practices that benefit the environment. www.sandcountyfoundation.org

HEINZ ENDOWMENTS 

The Heinz Endowments is devoted to the mission of helping our region prosper as a vibrant center of creativity, learning, and social, economic and environmental sustainability. Core to our work is the vision of a just community where all are included and where everyone who calls southwestern Pennsylvania home has a real and meaningful opportunity to thrive.

 

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