Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees
January 03, 2024
Nominations and applications are now being accepted for the 2024 Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award®.
The award honors 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 27 states. In Kentucky, the $10,000 award is presented annually with the Kentucky Agricultural Council and the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts.
Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes landowners who inspire others with their dedication to environmental improvement. In his influential 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for what he called “a land ethic,” an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.
The application deadline date is March 31, 2024. The committee prefers application materials to be sent electronically. Applications can be emailed to email@example.com or postmarked by March 31, and mailed to:
Leopold Conservation Award
c/o Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts
P.O. Box 4027
Frankfort, KY 40604-4027
The first was presented to Sherwood Acres Farm of LaGrange in 2013. Veatch Farms of Campbellsville received the award in 2023.
“The Kentucky Agricultural Council is proud to once again sponsor this award that honors the exceptional stewardship and conservation practices among Kentucky’s private landowners,” said Drew Graham, Kentucky Agricultural Council Chairman. “Based on the work of past winners and finalists, it is clear that Kentucky farmers are committed to leaving the land in better shape for generations to come. We encourage you to nominate a farmer that exemplifies this value.”
On behalf of conservation districts across the state we are thrilled to once again be part of a great program that recognizes the best conservationists in the Commonwealth,” said Allan Bryan, Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts President. “This program highlights some of the work that conservation districts strive to make available for landowners to conserve our natural resources. We are proud to be a sponsor and commend the Sand County Foundation and all other sponsors for making the Leopold Conservation Award possible.”
“These award recipients are examples of how Aldo Leopold’s land ethic is alive and well today. Their dedication to conservation shows how individuals can improve the health of the land while producing food and fiber,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and CEO.
“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 Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award is made possible thanks to the generous support and partnership of American Farmland Trust, Kentucky Agricultural Council, Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts, Sand County Foundation, U.S Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation, AgriBusiness Association of Kentucky, Farm Credit Mid-America, Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association, Kentucky Corn Growers Association, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association, Kentucky Pork Producers, Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board, Kentucky Tree Farm Committee, Kentucky Woodland Owner’s Association, and University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
For more information on the award, visit www.leopoldconservationaward.org.
THE LEOPOLD CONSERVATION AWARD is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. Sand County Foundation presents the award in California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont). www.leopoldconservationaward.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 6.8 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and supported thousands of farm families. www.farmland.org
KENTUCKY AGRICULTURAL COUNCIL is a 501(c)(3) organization consisting of some 80 agricultural organizations representing all sectors of Kentucky agriculture. The membership is composed of commodity groups, state and federal agricultural organizations, agricultural trade organizations and the state’s institutions of higher education that serve Kentucky agriculture. The KAC functions as an umbrella group and hub for its members, disseminating information and promoting coordination among all agricultural organizations and sectors. Since 2006, the KAC also has served as the “steward of strategic planning” for the future of Kentucky agriculture and Kentucky’s rural communities. www.kyagcouncil.net.
KENTUCKY ASSOCIATION OF CONSERVATION DISTRICTS is a 501(c)(3) organization consisting of Kentucky’s local conservation districts and watershed conservancy districts. KACD encourages the exchange of information relating to the administration and operation of conservation districts and watershed conservancy districts; to affect cooperation between districts and agencies and organizations concerned with any and all phases of soil and water conservation; to promote the welfare of conservation districts and watershed conservancy districts and the people therein; and to maintain strong and active membership in both KACD and the National Association of Conservation Districts. www.kyconservation.com
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