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Leopold Conservation Award Program Seeks Utah Nominees

Know a Utah farmer, rancher or forester who goes above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources? Nominate them for the 2018 Utah Leopold Conservation Award®.

Sand County Foundation, the nation’s leading voice for conservation of private land, presents the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 13 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation.

In Utah, the $10,000 award is presented annually by Sand County Foundation, Utah Farm Bureau Federation, Western AgCredit, Utah Cattlemen’s Association, and Utah Association of Conservation Districts.

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.

“The wise use of our resources and care for the land are always on the mind for Utah’s farmers and ranchers,” said Ron Gibson, president of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation. “I’m proud of the great efforts of Utah’s farmers and ranchers to take care of the land. I look forward to recognizing them for what they’ve been doing, and will continue to do, with this prestigious award.” 

“Conservationist Aldo Leopold made the following challenge to stewards of the land: ‘Examine each question in terms of what is ethically and aesthetically right, as well as what is economically expedient.’ Utah farmers and ranchers do an exceptional job of meeting this balance, and we encourage them to share their stories by applying for the Leopold Conservation Award,” said David Brown, president of Western AgCredit.   

“Utah landowners have a great heritage of caring for the land,” said Brent Tanner, executive vice president of the Utah Cattlemen’s Association. “We are excited every year to see the new applications and hear of the great conservation efforts that are taking place in our state.”

In his influential 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.

“Our family has enjoyed being part of the conservation community for years. As landowners, we take our responsibility to protect the land, water and wildlife seriously,” said Fred Thurston, a rancher from Morgan County and the 2017 award recipient.

“We appreciate the opportunity to be recognized with the Leopold Conservation Award. There are many others that deserve to be recognized, and we hope that community and conservation leaders will nominate them so they too can be recognized for the great things happening in Utah agriculture,” Thurston said.

Nominations may be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may nominate themselves. The application can be found at:

Applications must be postmarked by August 1, 2018 and mailed to Leopold Conservation Award, c/o Utah Farm Bureau Federation, 9865 S. State Street, Sandy UT 84070.

The Leopold Conservation Award will be presented at the Utah Farm Bureau’s November convention in Layton.

The Leopold Conservation Award Program in Utah is made possible thanks to the generous support of Utah Farm Bureau Federation, Western AgCredit, Utah Cattlemen’s Association, Utah Association of Conservation Districts, The Nature Conservancy, Utah Wool Growers Association, Producers Livestock Marketing Association, and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

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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, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.



Sand County Foundation is the nation’s leading voice for private conservation. Based in Madison, Wis. the non-profit organization is dedicated to working with private landowners to advance the use of ethical and scientifically sound land management practices that benefit the environment.



Its mission is to inspire all Utah families to connect, succeed and grow through the miracle of agriculture. It strives to bring value to every citizen and community through love of God, family, country, and the land through political action, educational and informational means.>span class="CharAttribute3">



The Utah Cattlemen’s Association has represented Utah cattle producers since 1870, preserving the heritage and strength of the industry through education and public policy and by supporting and establishing the adoption of good principles of raising and marketing cattle and caring for the land we ranch on.  Efforts are made possible through membership contributions.


Western AgCredit is the leader within the agricultural finance industry with nearly 100 years of lending to farmers in the Intermountain West. It currently serves approximately 1,700 customers with a full range of credit and financial services, as well as providing financial and volunteer support to several agricultural and community activities, including, among others, Utah Farm Bureau, Utah Cattlemen’s Association, Utah Wool Growers Association, the FFA, and the 4-H.


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