Commendable conservation

Applications are now being accepted for the 2020 Missouri Leopold Conservation Award Program, recognizing farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who make ex­traordinary achievements in voluntary conservation. Nominees could win a $10,000 award for their efforts.

The Sand County Foundation, a nonprofit conservation orga­nization, presents the Leopold Award in 21 states based on such criteria as innovation, adaptability, resilience, leadership and communications. Missouri Farmers Care, a coalition of agricul­tural organizations, including MFA Incorporated, partners with the foundation to bring the award to the Show-Me State. In Missouri, previous winners are the Brinker family of Auxvasse in 2019, 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.

Nominations may be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may nominate themselves. The application can be found at or

Applications can be mailed to Missouri Farmers Care, c/o Kari Asbury, 4481 Brown Station Road, Columbia, MO 65202, or submitted online at All applications must be submitted or postmarked by June 30.

Finalists will be announced in September with the award presented in November 2020 at the Missouri Governor’s Con­ference on Agriculture.

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