Award Criteria

Photo Credit: Texas Parks and Wildlife

Although the specifics within each category may vary slightly from state to state, these are the base criteria that are used by an independent panel of agricultural professionals in each state to evaluate each application for the Leopold Conservation Award.

Conservation Ethic

The award seeks landowners who have voluntarily exceeded the minimum obligations of regulation to enhance and conserve natural resources.


The award seeks landowners who have used business and conservation methods to make their operation productive into the future.

Leadership and Communication

The award seeks nominees who have shared their conservation ethic and techniques with others insider and outside of agriculture, through community service, leadership roles and media outreach.

Innovation and Adaptability

The award seeks landowners who have taken risks by utilizing or experimenting with new techniques to adapt a change (consumers, markets, weather, regulations, etc.).

Ecological Community

The award seeks landowners with farms, ranches and forests that work with natural systems (soil, water, plants and wildlife, etc.) and benefits others.