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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 2021 California Leopold Conservation Award®.

Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 22 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In California the $10,000 award is presented with state partners: 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. Applications are reviewed by an independent panel of agricultural and conservation leaders. The application can be found at www.sandcountyfoundation.org/ApplyLCA.

The application deadline date is July 15, 2021. Applications can be emailed to award@sandcountyfoundation.org. 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

“2020 was an extraordinarily challenging year, but our Golden State residents worked hard to safeguard our precious water supplies, keep our air clean and restore habitat for wildlife,” said Ashley Boren, Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Conservation, which has co-sponsored the award since its California launch more than a decade ago. “Many landowner heroes are on the front lines of conservation, stepping up every day to steward our environment and Californians’ quality of life. The Leopold Conservation Award celebrates these inspiring individuals and families, and we hope farmers, ranchers and other private landowners come forward this year to be recognized.”

“The Leopold Conservation Award provides outstanding recognition of farmers and ranchers take steps each and every day to realize significant 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 is reflective of California farmers’ and ranchers’ commitment to the environment.”

“As a national sponsor for Sand County Foundation’s Leopold Conservation Award, American Farmland Trust celebrates the hard work and dedication of farmers, ranchers and forestland owners,” said John Piotti, AFT President and CEO. “At AFT we believe that conservation in agriculture requires a focus on the land, the practices and the people and this award recognizes the integral role of all three.”

“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 American Farmland Trust, 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 in December.

The first California Leopold Conservation Award recipient was selected in 2006. Burroughs Family of Farms of Denair received the award in 2020.

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

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THE 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, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, 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

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

AMERICAN FARMLAND TRUST

American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through its No Farms, No Food message. Since its founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and supported thousands of farm families. www.farmland.org

SUSTAINABLE CONSERVATION

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. www.suscon.org

CALIFORNIA FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

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. www.cfbf.com

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