Conservation Pays in Missouri

The Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation, inspires other landowners through their example, and helps the general public understand the vital role private landowners can and do play in conservation success.

In Missouri, the award recipient receives an Aldo Leopold crystal and $10,000.


2020 Missouri Leopold Conservation Award

Application Deadline: Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Access the Application

To nominate yourself or an individual, applicants must submit an application regarding their operation’s conservation practices and ethics, in addition to three letters of recommendation. Click below to access the application.

Submit Application

Submit the application at the link below or mail it to Missouri Farmers Care, c/o Kari Asbury, 4481 Brown Station Road, Columbia. MO 65202.

Applications must be submitted or postmarked by June 30, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.


If you have any questions regarding the application or award, please contact Kari Asbury, MFC Outreach Coordinator, at


Missouri Leopold Conservation Award Recipients

Brinker Farms received the 2006 National Pork Industry Environmental Steward Award. Today Brinker is an owner of Harrison Creek Farm. The hog farm is home to 2,800 sows, utilizes no-till practices, and Brinker plants cereal rye as a cover crop for soil health and water infiltration. Six acres of corn, soybeans, milo and sunflowers are planted as food plots for wildlife. Undesirable trees were cleared from 200 acres of the farm to allow valuable tree species to flourish.

At Scherder Farms, John and Sandy Scherder raise beef cattle, corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. Cover crops are grown to reduce soil erosion, improve soil health, provide cattle feed, and provide wildlife habitat. They have used no-till and conservation till practices on their fields since the 1990s. They have established more than 150 acres of field borders into habitat for quail. The Scherders were active in forming a farmer-led watershed group to preserve Peno Creek by encouraging other farms to adopt conservation practices.

Matt and Kate Lambert of Uptown Farms were announced as the inaugural recipients of the Missouri Leopold Conservation Award.® The Lamberts' farm consists of 2,000 acres of row crop and hay production, commercial Red Angus cattle and a small flock of Hampshire and Dorper sheep. The Lamberts have transitioned their farm to completely no-till, and they use cover crops to enhance soil health while minimizing soil erosion and run-off.

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Missouri Leopold Conservation Award made possible thanks to:

Leopold Sponsors

Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, Missouri Department of Conservation,
MFA, Inc., Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, Missouri Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Missouri Soil and Water Conservation Program, The Nature Conservancy in Missouri, McDonald’s