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Oklahoma Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- Know an Oklahoma rancher, farmer or forester who goes above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources? Nominate them for the 2020 Oklahoma Leopold Conservation Award®.

Sand County Foundation presents the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 21 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In Oklahoma the $10,000 award is presented annually by Sand County Foundation, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Noble Research Institute, Oklahoma Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, ITC Holdings Corp., Oklahoma Conservation Commission, Enel North America Inc. and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes those 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. Applications are reviewed by an independent panel of agricultural and conservation leaders.

The application deadline date is August 15, 2020. Applications can be emailed to award@sandcountyfoundation.org. If mailed, applications must be postmarked by August 15, and mailed to:

Leopold Conservation Award

c/o Oklahoma Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture

2501 N. Stiles

Oklahoma City, OK 73105

The application can be found at www.sandcountyfoundation.org/ApplyLCA.

“Leopold Conservation Award recipients are at the forefront of a movement by America’s farmers and ranchers to simultaneously achieve economic and environmental success,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer.

The Leopold Conservation Award in Oklahoma is made possible thanks to the generous contributions from Enel Green Power, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Noble Research Institute, Oklahoma Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, ITC Holdings Corp., U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Sand County Foundation, McDonald’s, Oklahoma State University and the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts.

The recipient will be revealed in early 2021 at the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts’ Legislative Evening in Oklahoma City.

The first Oklahoma Leopold Conservation Award was presented to Jimmy and Ginger Emmons of Leedey in 2017. Jackson Farms of Mountain View received the 2018 award. The Chuck and Ruth Coffey family of Springer received the 2019 award.

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

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LEOPOLD CONSERVATION AWARD PROGRAM 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). www.leopoldconservationaward.org

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. www.sandcountyfoundation.org

ENEL GREEN POWER is a leading owner and operator of renewable energy plants in North America with projects operating and under development in 24 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. In North America, Enel Green Power operates more than 100 power plants with a total managed capacity of over 5.11 GW powered by renewable hydropower, wind, geothermal and solar enerby. www.enelgreenpower.com

ITC HOLDINGS CORP. is the largest independent electric transmission company in the United States. Based in Novi, Michigan, ITC invests in the electric transmission grid to improve reliability, expand access to markets, allow new generating resources to interconnect to its transmission systems and lower the overall cost of delivered energy. Through its regulated operating subsidiaries ITCTransmission, Michigan Electric Transmission Company, ITC Midwest and ITC Great Plains, ITC owns and operates high-voltage transmission facilities in Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma, serving a combined peak load exceeding 26,000 megawatts along approximately 15,800 circuit miles of transmission line with 660 employees and nearly 1,000 contractors across its seven-state footprint. ITC’s grid development focus includes growth through regulated infrastructure investment as well as domestic and international expansion through merchant and other commercial development opportunities. ITC Holdings Corp. common shares are owned 80.1% by Fortis Inc. and 19.9% by GIC Private Limited. www.itc-holdings.com

NOBLE RESEARCH INSTITUTE LLC is an independent nonprofit agricultural research organization dedicated to delivering solutions to great agricultural challenges. Headquartered in Ardmore, Oklahoma, the Noble Research Institute conducts fundamental, translational and applied research; offers no-cost consultation and education to farmers, ranchers and land managers; operates seven research and demonstration farms; and educates students of all ages about science and agriculture. The Noble Research Institute was founded by Lloyd Noble, an Oklahoma oilman and philanthropist, in 1945 as The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation to advance agriculture and land stewardship. www.noble.org

OKLAHOMA CATTLEMEN'S ASSOCIATION represents the interests of Oklahoma's cattlemen at the Oklahoma Legislature. The OCA has continued an aggressive course of action supporting proactive legislation and challenging anti-industry legislation and regulations. The OCA exists to support and defend the state and nation's beef cattle industry. www.okcattlemen.org

OKLAHOMA CONSERVATION COMMISSION provides assistance to Oklahoma’s 84 conservation districts and the public to foster a sense of stewardship and conservation management of Oklahoma’s renewable natural resources. This is accomplished through soil and water conservation, land use planning, small watershed upstream flood control, abandoned mine land reclamation, water quality monitoring, environmental education and wetlands conservation. www.ok.gov/conservation/

OKLAHOMA FARM BUREAU FOUNDATION FOR AGRICULTURE was formed to enhance awareness and understanding of agriculture’s contribution and importance to the state of Oklahoma. www.okfbfoundationforagriculture.org

USDA NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE (NRCS)

NRCS is a federal agency committed to helping private landowners care and make healthy choices for the land and water, while using them productively. Through voluntary incentive-based programs, the NRCS works directly with farmers, ranchers, forest owners and other land stewards to provide technical expertise and financial assistance to make conservation work on private lands. https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/ok/home/

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