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California Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees

Know a California farmer, rancher or forester who goes above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources? Nominate them for the 2020 California Leopold Conservation Award®.

Sand County Foundation presents the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 20 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In California the $10,000 award is presented with Sustainable Conservation and California Farm Bureau Federation.

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

The application deadline date is July 15, 2020. Applications can be emailed to If mailed, applications must be postmarked by July 15, and sent to:

Leopold Conservation Award

c/o Sustainable Conservation

98 Battery Street, Suite 302

San Francisco, CA 94111

Applications are reviewed by an independent panel of agricultural and conservation leaders.

“In light of our collective COVID-19 reality, it is more important than ever to celebrate farms and farmworkers in their essential efforts to feed and lead our nation,” said Ashley Boren, Executive Director of Sustainable Conservation. “We are taking all precautions and measures to ensure the Leopold Conservation Award proceeds safety for both our applicants and our internal team. We encourage applicants to reach out with questions or concerns.”

“The Leopold Conservation Award provides outstanding recognition of farmers and ranchers who often take small steps to realize big gains in managing their farms in a sustainable and profitable manner,” said Jamie Johansson, California Farm Bureau Federation President. “The awarded families are great examples of the generational appreciation farmers and ranchers have for their land. The stewardship they employ at their farms and ranches serves as a great example of California farmers’ and ranchers’ commitment to the environment.”

“Recipients of this award are real life examples of conservation-minded agriculture,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer. “These hard-working families are essential to our environment, food system and rural economy.”

The Leopold Conservation Award in California is made possible thanks to the generous support of Sustainable Conservation, California Farm Bureau Federation, Sand County Foundation, The Harvey L. & Maud C. Sorensen Foundation, Farm Credit, The Nature Conservancy in California, McDonald’s and California LCA recipient alumni.

The Leopold Conservation Award will be presented at the California Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting later this year.

The first California Leopold Conservation Award recipient was selected in 2006. Rominger Brothers Farms of Winters received the award in 2019.

For more information on the award, visit

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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, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont).


Sand County Foundation inspires and enables 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.


Sustainable Conservation helps California thrive by uniting people to solve the toughest challenges facing California’s 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.


The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of more than 40,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 5.5 million Farm Bureau members.

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