Wisconsin Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees
February 05, 2024
Nominations and applications are now being accepted for the 2024 Wisconsin Leopold Conservation Award®.
The $10,000 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 Wisconsin the $10,000 award is presented with state partners: Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.
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 “a land ethic,” 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 www.sandcountyfoundation.org/ApplyLCA.
The application deadline date is August 1, 2024. Applications must be emailed to email@example.com. Applications are reviewed by an independent panel of Wisconsin agricultural and conservation leaders. The Leopold Conservation Award will be presented at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting in December.
The first Wisconsin Leopold Conservation Award recipient was selected in 2006. Noll’s Dairy Farm of Alma received the award in 2023.
“Wisconsin’s multi-generational dairy farms are shaped by the hard work and wise stewardship of farmers committed to preserving and improving the land and water for their communities and the future generations who live and work on the land,” said Chad Vincent, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin Chief Executive Officer. “We are proud to sponsor the Leopold Conservation Award and celebrate our dairy farmers’ dedication to animal care and sustainable land and water.”
“Farmers across Wisconsin are leading the charge in advancing conservation. At Wisconsin Farm Bureau, we believe we all have a responsibility to protect and improve our natural resources and we are proud to recognize and celebrate those efforts as a sponsor of the Wisconsin Leopold Conservation Award,” said Brad Olson, Wisconsin Farm Bureau President. “I encourage farmers to apply or nominate someone who deserves this special recognition for their continued conservation efforts.”
“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 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.
The Leopold Conservation Award Program in Wisconsin is made possible thanks to the generous support of American Farmland Trust, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Sand County Foundation, Culver’s, Compeer Financial, McDonald’s, The Nature Conservancy, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, We Energies Foundation, Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board, Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association, Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, and Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board.
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
DAIRY FARMERS OF WISCONSIN - Funded by Wisconsin dairy farmers, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin is a non-profit organization that focuses on marketing and promoting Wisconsin’s world-class dairy products. www.WisconsinDairy.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
WISCONSIN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION is Wisconsin's largest general farm organization. It represents nearly 24,000 farms and agriculturists who belong to one of 61 county Farm Bureaus found across the state. Much like Wisconsin's diverse agricultural landscape, Farm Bureau members represent all farm commodities, farm sizes and management styles. Farm Bureau's mission is to lead the farm and rural community through legislative representation, education, public relations and leadership development. www.wfbf.com