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Kansas Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees

Know a Kansas farmer, rancher or forestland owner who goes above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources? Nominate them for the 2021 Kansas 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 Kansas, the $10,000 award is presented with Kansas Association of Conservation Districts, and the Ranchland Trust of Kansas.

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

The application deadline date is June 1, 2021. Applications can be emailed to award@sandcountyfoundation.org. If mailed, applications must be postmarked by June 1, and mailed to:

KACD

c/o Dan Meyerhoff

414 Autumn Lane

Hays KS 67601

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

“The Leopold Conservation Award Program provides a valuable opportunity to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of Kansas agricultural landowners who are committed to strong conservation practices and effective stewardship,” said Dan Meyerhoff, Executive Director of the Kansas Association of Conservation Districts (KACD).

“RTK is a proud supporter of the Leopold Conservation Award in Kansas. It is an honor to help recognize those conservationists who go above and beyond in the stewardship of our natural resources,” said Chelsea Good, Chair of the Board of Ranchland Trust of Kansas.

“Conserving our state’s rich and diverse natural resources is ingrained deeply in the culture of our multi-generational farms and ranches,” said Kansas Agriculture Secretary Mike Beam. “The Leopold Conservation Award serves an important role of reminding the general public of how private land managers conserve and enhance these resources for future generations.”

“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 award will be presented in November at the KACD Annual Convention in Wichita.

The 2020 recipient of the award was Josh and Gwen Hoy’s Flying W Ranch of Cedar Point. The first Kansas Leopold Conservation Award was presented in 2015 to Sproul Ranch of Sedan.

The Leopold Conservation Award Program in Kansas is made possible thanks to the generous support of American Farmland Trust, Kansas Association of Conservation Districts, Ranchland Trust of Kansas, Sand County Foundation, Evergy, Farm Credit Associations of Kansas, ITC Great Plains, Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Division of Conservation, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism; Kansas Forest Service, McDonald’s, The Nature Conservancy in Kansas, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and a Kansas Leopold Conservation Award recipient.

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, 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 on the 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

KANSAS ASSOCIATION OF CONSERVATION DISTRICTS

The Kansas Association of Conservation Districts is a voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit, incorporated organization composed of members from the conservation districts located throughout Kansas’ 105 counties. Through partnerships with federal, state, and local entities, the Kansas Association of Conservation Districts has brought together groups that share the common goal of wise and efficient conservation practices that protect Kansas’ natural resources. The Kansas Association of Conservation Districts promotes and supports the establishment of programs dedicated to conservation and the organized development of Kansas land, water and related resources. www.kacdnet.org

RANCHLAND TRUST OF KANSAS

The Ranchland Trust of Kansas is a private, non-profit organization founded by members of the Kansas Livestock Association in 2003. The organization was created to provide assistance to ranchers and landowners who desire to conserve their land with conservation easements. Guided by their mission to preserve Kansas’ ranching heritage and open spaces for future generations through the conservation of working landscapes, RTK values a commitment to conservation, respect for private landownership, integrity, organizational excellence and collaboration with those who share their values. The Ranchland Trust of Kansas remains an affiliate of the Kansas Livestock Association. www.ranchlandtrustofkansas.org

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