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North Dakota Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees

Are you a North Dakota rancher, farmer or forestland owner who improves soil health, water quality and wildlife habitat on your working land? Apply for the 2021 North Dakota Leopold Conservation Award®.

Sand County Foundation presents the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 22 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In North Dakota, the $10,000 award is presented with national sponsor American Farmland Trust, and state partners: North Dakota Grazing Lands Coalition, North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts and the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association.

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.

“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.”

“As the 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.”

Nominations may be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may nominate themselves. The application can be found at www.sandcountyfoundation.org/ApplyLCA.

The application deadline is April 15, 2021. Applications can be emailed to award@sandcountyfoundation.org or postmarked by April 15, 2021 to:

North Dakota Grazing Lands Coalition

Attn: Leopold Conservation Award

P.O. Box 1091

Bismarck, ND 58502

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

The 2020 recipient of the award was the Dockter-Jensen Ranch of Denhoff in Sheridan County.

The Leopold Conservation Award Program in North Dakota is made possible thanks to the generous support of American Farmland Trust, North Dakota Grazing Lands Coalition, North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts, North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, Sand County Foundation, Starion Bank, North Dakota Game & Fish Department, APEX Clean Energy, Audubon Dakota, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Burleigh County Soil Conservation District, ConocoPhilllips, Cow Chip Ranch, Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, Emmons County Soil Conservation District, KEM Electric Cooperative, McDonald’s, Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative, North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, North Dakota Natural Resources Trust, Pheasants Forever, Roughrider Electric Cooperative, Slope Electric Cooperative, The Nature Conservancy, The Wildlife Society, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.

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 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

NORTH DAKOTA GRAZING LANDS COALITION

The NDGLC is a non-profit organization that believes through voluntary actions, respect for private property rights, and providing education on the values and multiple benefits of well managed grazing resources, the goals of promoting the health and sustainability of North Dakota's grazing lands are achievable. www.ndglc.com

NORTH DAKOTA STOCKMEN’S ASSOCIATION

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association is a 91-year-old non-profit trade organization that works to unite, protect, promote, educate and serve the beef industry of North Dakota. www.ndstockmen.org

NORTH DAKOTA ASSOCIATION OF SOIL CONSERVATION DISTRICTS

The purpose of the North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts is to further the widespread application of sound and practical soil and water conservation practices in North Dakota. Our goal is to provide quality membership services and nursery products to carry out the soil conservation program of the soil conservation districts of North Dakota. www.ndascd.org

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