Do you know a Kansas farmer, rancher or forestland owner who goes above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources? You can nominate them for the 2021 Kansas Leopold Conservation Award.
Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 22 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In Kansas, the $10,000 award is presented with the Kansas Association of Conservation Districts (KACD) and the Ranchland Trust of Kansas.
Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes those 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. Applications are reviewed by an independent panel of agricultural and conservation leaders. The application can be found at sandcountyfoundation.org/applyLCA.
The application deadline date is June 1. Applications can be emailed to email@example.com. If mailed, applications must be postmarked by June 1 and mailed to KACD, c/o Dan Meyerhoff, 414 Autumn Lane, Hays KS 67601.
“The Leopold Conservation Award Program provides a valuable opportunity to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of Kansas agricultural landowners who are committed to strong conservation practices and effective stewardship,” says Dan Meyerhoff, executive director of the Kansas Association of Conservation Districts.
“RTK is a proud supporter of the Leopold Conservation Award in Kansas. It is an honor to help recognize those conservationists who go above and beyond in the stewardship of our natural resources,” says Chelsea Good, board chair of Ranchland Trust of Kansas.
“Conserving our state’s rich and diverse natural resources is ingrained deeply in the culture of our multigenerational farms and ranches,” Kansas Agriculture Secretary Mike Beam says. “The Leopold Conservation Award serves an important role of reminding the general public of how private land managers conserve and enhance these resources for future generations.”
“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,” says 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 real-life examples of conservation-minded agriculture,” says Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation president and CEO. “These hardworking families are essential to our environment, food system and rural economy.”
The award will be presented in November at the KACD Annual Convention in Wichita.
The 2020 recipient of the award was Josh and Gwen Hoy’s Flying W Ranch of Cedar Point. The first Kansas Leopold Conservation Award was presented in 2015 to Sproul Ranch of Sedan.
The Leopold Conservation Award Program in Kansas is made possible thanks to the generous support of American Farmland Trust; Kansas Association of Conservation Districts; Ranchland Trust of Kansas; Sand County Foundation; Evergy; Farm Credit Associations of Kansas; ITC Great Plains; Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Division of Conservation; Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism; Kansas Forest Service; McDonald’s; The Nature Conservancy in Kansas; USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; and a Kansas Leopold Conservation Award recipient.
For more information on the award, visit leopoldconservationaward.org.