Looking for the next Leopold leaders
Applications are now being accepted for the 2022 Missouri Leopold Conservation Award Program, recognizing farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who go above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources. Nominees could win a $10,000 award for their efforts.
The Sand County Foundation, a nonprofit conservation organization, presents the Leopold Award in 23 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, the 2021 winner was Oetting Homestead Farms of Concordia, Mo. Previous state award recipients are the Yoder family of Leonard in 2020, the Brinker family of Auxvasse in 2019, the Scherder family of Frankford in 2018 and the Lambert family of Laclede in 2017.
“Missouri farmers and ranchers are continually striving through their stewardship to support long-term viability and productive capacity of their operations,” said Jeff Houts, chairman of Missouri Farmers Care. “We are honored to highlight innovative leaders who are utilizing stewardship practices to meet an ultimate goal: improving land, air, water, habitat and land for the future generations of land stewards.”
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.
“Recipients of this award are real life examples of conservation-minded agriculture,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation president and chief executive officer. “These hard-working families are essential to our environment, food system and rural economy.”
Nominations may be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may nominate themselves. The application can be found at sandcountyfoundation.org/ApplyLCA or MOFarmersCare.com/lca. Submit applications online (preferred) or mail to Missouri Farmers Care Foundation, 19171 State Highway 11, Kirksville, MO 63501. All applications must be submitted or postmarked by June 30, 2022.
Finalists will be announced in September with plans to present the award in November 2022.
More information on the award and its recipients can be found at sandcountyfoundation.org.
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