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South Dakota Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees

Nominations and applications are now being accepted for the 2022 South Dakota Leopold Conservation Award®.

The $10,000 award honors ranchers, farmers and forestland owners who go above and beyond in their management of soil health, water quality and wildlife habitat on working land.

Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 23 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In South Dakota, the award is presented with the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association and the South Dakota Grassland Coalition.

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 sandcountyfoundation.org/ApplyLCA.

The application deadline is March 7, 2022. Applications can be emailed to award@sandcountyfoundation.org. If mailed, applications must be postmarked by March 7 and mailed to:

Leopold Conservation Award

c/o South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association

P.O. Box 1258

Pierre, SD 57501

Selected recipients must be available to host a tour and video production team during the summer, and participate in a fall award presentation.

The 2021 recipient of the award was Prairie Paradise Farms of Fort Pierre.

The Leopold Conservation Award Program in South Dakota made possible thanks to the generous support of American Farmland Trust, South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, South Dakota Grassland Coalition, Sand County Foundation, First Dakota National Bank, South Dakota Department of Agriculture, South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation, South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks, South Dakota State University College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, SD DENR Discovery Center, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Audubon Dakota, Bad River Ranches, Belle Fourche River Watershed Partnership, Blair Brothers Angus Ranch, Cammack Ranch, Daybreak Ranch, Ducks Unlimited, Jim and Karen Kopriva, McDonald’s, Millborn Seeds, North Central SARE-Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, South Dakota Pheasants Forever, Professional Alliance, South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts, South Dakota Soil Health Coalition, The Nature Conservancy, Todd Mortenson Family, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-Partners for Fish and Wildlife, and Wagner Land & Livestock.

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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, Maryland, 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 empowers 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

SOUTH DAKOTA CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION

The South Dakota Cattlemen's Association is a member-driven organization working to advance and protect the interests of all cattlemen. www.sdcattlemen.org

SOUTH DAKOTA GRASSLAND COALITION

The South Dakota Grassland Coalition is a non-profit organization that seeks the voluntary improvement of grasslands for the long-term needs of the resource and its various species. The SD Grassland Coalition is dedicated to improving and maintaining the state’s grasslands by informing and guiding grassland managers to make cost-effective and environmentally sound management decisions. www.sdgrass.org

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