American Farmland Trust becomes National Sponsor of Leopold Conservation Award® Program

MADISON, Wis. – American Farmland Trust (AFT), a national leader in protecting agricultural land, promoting environmentally sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land, will join forces with Sand County Foundation to present the Leopold Conservation Award® Program.

Sand County Foundation created and presents the Leopold Conservation Award in 21 states to farmers, ranchers and foresters who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat conservation on agricultural land. AFT will become a national sponsor of the award program.

“The hard-working families who receive the Leopold Conservation Award for their leadership in conservation are essential to our environment, food systems and rural economy,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and CEO. “Sand County Foundation is pleased to partner with American Farmland Trust to advance conservation in agriculture across this nation.”

“For nearly 40 years, AFT has been promoting conservation on farmland, protecting it from development, supporting the farmers who steward the land and promoting farming practices that improve soil health, prevent erosion and run off of nutrients into waterways and increase biodiversity,” said John Piotti, AFT President and CEO. “We are proud to be a national sponsor of the Leopold Conservation Award, an honor bestowed on the best land stewards in this nation. It’s a natural fit.”

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes outstanding achievement in voluntary conservation. Since 2003, the award has been presented to more than 140 dedicated land stewards who are leaders in their industry and  communities. Award recipients receive a $10,000 cash award at high profile events attended by their peers. Their conservation success stories are promoted widely to other agricultural landowners and the general public.

Applications and nominations for the award are reviewed by independent panels of agricultural and conservation leaders. Funding for the program comes from agriculture, business, government, academia, nonprofits, foundations and individuals.

For more information on the award, visit www.leopoldconservationaward.org.

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LEOPOLD CONSERVATION AWARD PROGRAM 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). Learn more at www.leopoldconservationaward.org

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

About the Author
Lori Sallet

Media Relations Director

lsallet@farmland.org

(410) 708-5940

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