Prestigious Leopold Conservation Award arrives in Maryland


The Leopold Conservation Award winner will be announced at the Maryland Farm Bureau’s annual convention and delegates meeting.

Maryland farmers have long been national leaders in science-based environmental conservation. Farm Bureau and our partners want to recognize the work our farming community has done and will continue to do to ensure the protection of our natural resources through this award.

A prestigious awards program celebrating voluntary conservation by farmers and forest land owners is coming to Maryland.

the Léopold Prize for Conservation® recognizes landowners who inspire others through their voluntary commitment to the ethical management of land, water and wildlife habitat on working lands. The award is in honor of the famous environmentalist Aldo Leopold. In his influential 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.

Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award to farmers, ranchers and forest owners in 23 states. In Maryland, the award is presented with state partners Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, Maryland Soil Conservation Districts Association (MASCD), and Maryland Agricultural Office.

Farm and forest land owners in Maryland can claim the award themselves or be nominated by another party. The Maryland app can be found online.

The recipient receives a $ 10,000 award and appears in a video about conservation success found on their farm or forest. The recipient will be announced at the Maryland Farm Bureau’s annual convention and delegate meeting on December 6. The deadline for applications is August 31, 2021. Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of leaders in agriculture and conservation.

“Maryland farmers have long been national leaders in science-based environmental conservation,” said John Torres, executive director of the Maryland Farm Bureau. “Farm Bureau and our partners want to recognize the work our farming community has done and will continue to do to ensure the protection of our natural resources through this award. Our members are committed to growing and raising food in a sustainable and responsible way that enables the continuation of the agricultural tradition here in Old Line State, ”he said.

Bruce Yerkes, President of MASCD, said, “Recognizing exceptional farm stewardship is so important in our region, where the farming community takes a great deal of responsibility for achieving water quality goals. The Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts is delighted to work with the Maryland Farm Bureau and the Sand County Foundation to present the Leopold Conservation Award to our state. “

“The recipients of this award are real examples of conservation-minded agriculture,” said Kevin McAleese, President and CEO of the Sand County Foundation. “These hard-working families are essential to our environment, our food system and our rural economy. “

“As a national sponsor of the Leopold Prize for Conservation of the Sand County Foundation, American Farmland Trust celebrates the hard work and dedication of farmers, ranchers and forest owners,” said John Piotti, President and CEO of AFT. “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.”

The Maryland Leopold Conservation Award is also made possible by the generous support of the Maryland Department of Agriculture, MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Delmarva Chicken Association, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Conservancy, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, ShoreRivers and The Nature Conservancy.

KEITH CAMPBELL ENVIRONMENTAL FOUNDATION: The Keith Campbell Environmental Foundation was established in 1998 to improve conditions in the Chesapeake Bays and the Atlantic coast. In 2003, the Campbell Foundation’s geographic area expanded to include California and the San Francisco Bay watershed. The mission in the Chesapeake Bay region is to improve the water quality and ecological balance in the bay and its rivers, as a healthy bay fosters a vibrant regional economy and provides exceptional recreational opportunities. The Campbell Foundation’s Pacific Initiative strives to identify opportunities in the field that a) are growing politically, b) present an excellent opportunity to leverage resources of all kinds, and c) are innovative from a commercial and social point of view.

THE MARYLAND ASSOCIATION OF SOIL CONSERVATION DISTRICTS is the voice of Maryland’s 24 soil and water conservation districts on state legislative matters. It also provides a forum for training, policy development and information exchange at their annual and quarterly meetings. Its mission is to promote practical and effective programs on soil, water and related natural resources to all citizens through individual conservation districts on a voluntary basis through leadership, education, cooperation and local leadership.

MARYLAND FARM BUREAU®, INC. is a 501 (c) (5) federation that serves as a united voice for farm families in Maryland. Our organizational strength comes from the active participation of more than 12,000 individual and family members who belong to the 23 local organizations of the State County Farm Bureau. Since 1915, the Maryland Farm Bureau has been committed to protecting and developing agriculture and preserving rural life. Maryland Farm Bureau is proud to be a member of the American Farm Bureau® Federation.

SAND COUNTY FOUNDATION inspires and empowers a growing number of private landowners to ethically manage the natural resources in their care, so that future generations have clean and abundant water, healthy soil to support agriculture and forestry, abundant wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation opportunities.

AMERICAN FARMLAND TRUST is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the farming practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT started the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise awareness through its message No Farms, No Food. Since its founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of farmland, advanced environmentally friendly farming practices on millions more and supported thousands of farm families.

LEOPOLD CONSERVATION AWARD PROGRAM is a competitive award that recognizes the achievements of landowners in voluntary conservation. The Sand County Foundation presents the award in California, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont).

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