Sand County Foundation: Wisconsin Leopold Conservation Award seeks nominees

Are you a Wisconsin farmer or forestland owner who improves soil health, water quality, and wildlife habitat on your working land? Apply for the 2023 Wisconsin Leopold Conservation Award®.

Sand County Foundation and national sponsor, American Farmland Trust, present the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 25 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In Wisconsin the $10,000 award is presented annually with Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.  

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes landowners 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 www.sandcountyfoundation.org/ApplyLCA.

The application deadline date is August 1, 2023. Applications must be emailed to [email protected].

Applications are reviewed by an independent panel of agricultural and conservation leaders.

“A commitment to conservation is truly worth recognizing and celebrating,” said Kevin Krentz, Wisconsin Farm Bureau President. “I encourage farmers to apply or nominate someone who deserves this special recognition for their continued conservation efforts.”

“Dairy farmers have a proud legacy of nurturing and protecting their land and animals, while continually seeking innovative sustainable farming practices that enable them to be an environmental solution,” said Chad Vincent, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin Chief Executive Officer. “The Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and the dairy farm families we represent are proud to again sponsor the Leopold Conservation Award.”

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

“Recipients of this award are examples of how Aldo Leopold’s land ethic is alive and well today. Their dedication to conservation shows how individuals can improve the health of the land while producing food and fiber,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and CEO.

The Leopold Conservation Award Program in Wisconsin is made possible thanks to the generous support of American Farmland Trust, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Sand County Foundation, Culver’s, Compeer Financial, McDonald’s, The Nature Conservancy, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, We Energies Foundation, Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board, Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association, Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, and Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board.

The Leopold Conservation Award will be presented at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting in December.

The first Wisconsin Leopold Conservation Award recipient was selected in 2006. Joe and Christy Tomandl of Medford received the award in 2022.