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Maryland Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees

Know a Maryland farmer or forestland owner who goes above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources? Nominate them for the 2022 Maryland Leopold Conservation Award®.

Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award to farmers, ranchers and forestland owners in 23 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In Maryland, the award is presented with state partners: Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, Maryland Association of Conservation Districts, and Maryland Farm Bureau Inc.

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.

Owners of farm and forestland in Maryland may apply for the award themselves, or be nominated. The application deadline is August 1, 2022.

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

Apply for the award at https://app.mykaleidoscope.com/scholarship/LeopoldConservation.

Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of agricultural and conservation leaders. The recipient receives a $10,000 award and the conservation success found on their farm or forest will be featured in a professional video.

The recipient will be announced at the Maryland Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Convention & Meeting of Delegates on December 5, 2022.

“Farmers face a myriad of decisions, not only about what they produce but how they steward their family heritage and manage their lands,” said Samantha Campbell, President of the Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment. “We are very pleased to recognize outstanding farmers who, by their thoughtful decision-making, not only help lead food production, but demonstrate an exceptional commitment to environmental stewardship.”

“Recipients of this award are real life examples of conservation-minded agriculture,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and CEO. “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.”

The Maryland Leopold Conservation Award is made possible through the generous support of American Farmland Trust, Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, Maryland Farm Bureau Inc., Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts, Sand County Foundation, Maryland Department of Agriculture, MidAtlantic Farm Credit, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Delmarva Chicken Association, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Conservancy, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, ShoreRivers, and The Nature Conservancy.

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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, 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 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 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

THE KEITH CAMPBELL FOUNDATION FOR THE ENVIRONMENT'S mission in the Chesapeake Bay Region is to improve water quality and ecological balance in the Bay and its rivers, as a healthy bay fosters a vibrant regional economy and provides exceptional recreational opportunities and a better quality of life. The Foundation provides approximately $7 million in funding through more than 150 grants annually, and has been funding in the region since 1998. https://www.campbellfoundation.org

MARYLAND FARM BUREAU®, INC. is a 501(c)(5) federation that serves as the united voice of Maryland farm families. Our organizational strength comes from the active participation of over 10,000 individual and family members who belong to the state’s 23 local county Farm Bureau organizations. Since 1915, Maryland Farm Bureau has been committed to protecting and growing agriculture and preserving rural life. Maryland Farm Bureau is a proud member of the American Farm Bureau® Federation. https://www.mdfarmbureau.com

MARYLAND ASSOCIATION OF SOIL CONSERVATION DISTRICTS serves as the voice of Maryland’s 24 soil and water conservation districts on state legislative issues. It also provides a forum for training, policy-making and the exchange of information at their annual and quarterly gatherings. Its mission is to promote practical and effective soil, water, and related natural resources programs to all citizens through individual conservation districts on a voluntary bases through leadership, education, cooperation and local direction. https://mascd.net

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