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Seeking stellar stewards

LeopoldAward ScherdersRecipients of the 2018 Missouri Leopold Conservation Award were John and Sandy Scherder along with their daughter and son-in-law, Holly and Curtis Delgman, of Frankford, Mo. Also pictured are the Delgmans’ children, Wyatt, Roxie and Bailey. Together they accomplish major conservation practices utilizing innovative seeding methods, cover crops and crop rotation.Missouri farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who voluntarily demonstrate outstanding steward­ship and management of natural resources will have an oppor­tunity to win a $10,000 award for their efforts.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 Missouri Leopold Conservation Award Program, recognizing those who make extraordinary achievements in vol­untary conservation. Nominees will be evaluated on such criteria as conservation ethic, innovation, adapt­ability, resilience, leadership and communications.

The Sand County Foundation, a nonprofit conser­vation organization, presents the Leopold Conser­vation Award to private landowners in 14 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In Missouri, the award was presented for the first time in 2017 in conjunction with Missouri Farmers Care and the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. Previous winners of the Missouri Leopold Award are the Scherder family of Frankford in 2018 and the Lambert family of Laclede in 2017.

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.

“The Leopold Conservation Award highlights the great work of Missouri farmers, ranchers and for­esters,” said Gary Marshall, chairman of Missouri Farmers Care. “These efforts are firmly rooted in enhancing the stewardship of farming and ranching operations. This program highlights farmers’ best practices and purpose to meet an ultimate goal: leaving the land in better shape for the next generation.”

Nominations may be submitted on be­half of a landowner, or landowners may nominate themselves. All applications must be submitted or postmarked by Friday, July 12. The application can be found online at Email applications to MFC Outreach Coordinator, Kari Asbury, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mail to Missouri Farmers Care, 4481 Brown Station Road, Columbia, MO 65202. Finalists will be announced in November with the award presented in December 2019 or January 2020.

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