Mark O’Neill, Media and Strategic Communications Director
Casey Langan, Sand Country Foundation
For Immediate Release: May 24, 2018
A prestigious award that celebrates voluntary conservation by farmland owners is coming to Pennsylvania.
This year Pennsylvania will become the 14th state to present the Leopold Conservation Award® in partnership with the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and Heinz Endowments.
Sand County Foundation, the nation’s leading voice for private land conservation, presents the Leopold Conservation Award to farmers, ranchers and foresters for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation on private working lands.
The inaugural award will be presented at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in January. The recipient receives $10,000 and a crystal award depicting Aldo Leopold.
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. The award brings together agriculture, government, environmental organizations, industry and academia to advance the cause of private lands conservation.
“Pennsylvania Farm Bureau welcomes this opportunity to promote the inaugural Leopold Conservation Award in the state as another occasion to recognize and reward farmers, who are going above and beyond in adopting Best Management Practices on their farms to protect the environment, while maintaining the future economic viability of their farming operations,” said Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President Rick Ebert.
“Care of land and water resources is deeply ingrained in the culture of Pennsylvania’s farmers and foresters,” Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “The 2019 Farm Show will focus on telling the inspirational stories of Pennsylvania agriculture to an audience of millions who visit in person and through the media. The department is proud to shine the Farm Show spotlight on agriculturists who inspire others by honoring Aldo Leopold’s legacy of conservation.”
Call for Nominations
Nominations for the first Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award are now being accepted.
Nominations may be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may nominate themselves. The application can be found at https://sandcountyfoundation.org/uploads/Pennsylvania-2018-CFN.pdf
Applications must be postmarked by August 15, 2018 and mailed to Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, c/o Joel Rotz, PO Box 8736, Camp Hill, PA 17001-8736. For application information, please visit www.leopoldconservationaward.org.
“Nominating a farm family, or self-nominating your own operation, is a great way to celebrate the hard work and commitment to land stewardship,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and CEO. “It helps the public appreciate the important role that private landowners play in protecting and enhancing the environment."
The award recognizes and celebrates extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation by private landowners, inspires other landowners by example and provides a platform for agricultural leaders to be recognized as conservation ambassadors by the general public,” McAleese said.
The Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award is made possible through the generous support of platinum sponsor, Heinz Endowments, and the assistance and support of Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, USDA NRCS, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Center for Dairy Excellence, and Dairymen’s Association.
LEOPOLD CONSERVATION AWARD PROGRAM
The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. Sand County Foundation presents the award in California, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
SAND COUNTY FOUNDATION
Sand County Foundation is the nation’s leading voice for private conservation. Based in Madison, the non-profit organization is dedicated to working with private landowners to advance the use of ethical and scientifically sound land management practices that benefit the environment. www.sandcountyfoundation.org
PENNSYLVANIA FARM BUREAU
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with more than 62,000 member families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.