Missouri Leopold Conservation Award Program Seeks Nominees

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Know a Missouri farmer, rancher or forester who goes above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources? Nominate them for the 2020 Missouri Leopold Conservation Award®.

Sand County Foundation presents the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 21 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation.

In Missouri, the $10,000 award is presented annually by Sand County Foundation, Missouri Farmers Care, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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. The application can be found at www.sandcountyfoundation.org/ApplyLCA or www.mofarmerscare.com.

Applications can be submitted online at https://mofarmerscare.com/lca or mailed to Missouri Farmers Care, c/o Kari Asbury, 4481 Brown Station Road, Columbia, MO 65202. All applications must be submitted or postmarked by June 30, 2020.

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

The Leopold Conservation Award Program in Missouri is made possible thanks to the generous support of Missouri Farmers Care, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Sand County Foundation, Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, Missouri Department of Conservation, MFA, Inc., Missouri Soil and Water Conservation Program, The Nature Conservancy in Missouri, Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, McDonald’s, and the Missouri Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

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Photo Caption: Recipient of the 2019 Missouri Leopold Conservation Award was Brinker Farms, Inc., operated by the Kenny and Susan Brinker family of Auxvasse, Mo. The Brinker’s business model focuses on their farrow-to-finish operation, Harrison Creek Farms, row crop production, as well as processing and marketing Brinker Farms Pork. The Brinkers use a variety of conservation practices including no-till, grass waterways, cover crops and variable-rate technology to improve soil health, fertility and water quality; in addition to modern buildings that provide a comfortable environment for their livestock. Nominations for the 2020 Missouri Leopold Conservation Award are now being accepted. Learn more at www.mofarmerscare.com.

The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. Sand County Foundation presents the award in California, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont). www.leopoldconservationaward.org

Sand County Foundation inspires and enables a growing number of private landowners to ethically manage natural resources in their care, so future generations have clean and abundant water, healthy soil to support agriculture and forestry, plentiful habitat for wildlife and opportunities for outdoor recreation. www.sandcountyfoundation.org

Missouri Farmers Care is a joint effort by Missouri’s agriculture community to stand together for the men and women who provide the food and jobs on which our communities depend. The coalition of more than 40 leading Missouri agricultural groups promotes the growth of Missouri agriculture and rural communities through coordinated communication, education and advocacy. www.MOFarmersCare.com

The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council is a statewide, farmer-led organization working to improve opportunities for Missouri soybean farmers through a combination of research, outreach, education and market development efforts through the soybean checkoff. www.mosoy.org

NRCS, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, provides financial and technical assistance on a voluntary basis to land users interested in protecting, restoring and enhancing natural resources. NRCS helps people help the land through more than 100 local offices located in USDA Service Centers. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. www.mo.nrcs.usda.gov