Leopold Conservation Award
Three Finalists Selected for Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award

Nominations and applications are now being accepted for the 2024 Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award®

Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award Information

The award honors farmers and forestland owners who go above and beyond in their management of soil health, water quality and wildlife habitat on working land. Click to read more...

Three Finalists Selected for Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award

Donald Veatch of Campbellsville in Marion County

2023 Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award

At Donald Veatch’s beef cattle and grain farm, establishing buffer strips, and crop rotations, no-till practices and cover crops have reduced soil erosion and improved water quality. Selective harvesting and thinning overgrowth promote the quality of timber in the farm’s 125 acres of forests. Planting trees and native grasses has created habitat for wildlife and insect pollinators. Click to read more...

Leopold Conservation Award (LCA) for Kentucky

Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award

Sand County Foundation (SCF) and the Kentucky Agricultural Council (KAC) have joined forces to inaugurate the Leopold Conservation Award (LCA) for Kentucky. The LCA recognizes farmers, ranchers, and other private landowners actively committed to living the legacy of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold. Recognizing extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation, the LCA inspires other landowners through award winners' examples, and helps the general public understand the vital role private landowners can and do play in conservation success. In 2019 the award was presented in 20 states. 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, 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.

Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees

Are you a Kentucky farmer or forester who improves soil health, water quality, and wildlife habitat on your working land? Apply for the 2023 Kentucky 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 Kentucky, the $10,000 award is presented annually with the Kentucky Agricultural Council and the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts.

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 apply themselves. The application can be found at www.sandcountyfoundation.org/ApplyLCA.

The application deadline date is April 1, 2023. The committee prefers application materials to be sent electronically. Applications can be emailed to colemansteve51@gmail.com or postmarked by April 1, and mailed to:

Leopold Conservation Award
c/o Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts
P.O. Box 4027
Frankfort, KY 40604-4027

The first was presented to Sherwood Acres Farm of LaGrange in 2013. Reddick Farms of Bardwell received the award in 2022.

“The Kentucky Agricultural Council is proud to once again sponsor this award that honors the exceptional stewardship and conservation practices among Kentucky’s private landowners,” said Drew Graham, Kentucky Agricultural Council Chairman. “Based on the work of past winners and finalists, it is clear that Kentucky farmers are committed to leaving the land in better shape for generations to come. We encourage you to nominate a farmer that exemplifies this value.”

On behalf of conservation districts across the state we are thrilled to once again be part of a great program that recognizes the best conservationists in the Commonwealth,” said Allen Bryan, Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts President. “This program highlights some of the work that conservation districts strive to make available for landowners to conserve our natural resources. We are proud to be a sponsor and commend the Sand County Foundation and all other sponsors for making the Leopold Conservation Award possible.”

“These award recipients 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.

“As the 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.”

The Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award is made possible thanks to the generous support and partnership of American Farmland Trust, Kentucky Agricultural Council, Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts, Sand County Foundation, U.S Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation, AgriBusiness Association of Kentucky, Farm Credit Mid-America, Kentucky Corn Growers Association, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Kentucky Pork Producers, Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board, Kentucky Tree Farm Committee, Kentucky Woodland Owner’s Association, and University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

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

Leopold Conservation Award

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, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, 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

Sand County Foundation inspires and empowers 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

American Farmland Trust

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. www.farmland.org

Kentucky Agricultural Council

The Kentucky Agricultural Council is a 501(c)(3) organization consisting of some 80 agricultural organizations representing all sectors of Kentucky agriculture. The membership is composed of commodity groups, state and federal agricultural organizations, agricultural trade organizations and the state’s institutions of higher education that serve Kentucky agriculture. The KAC functions as an umbrella group and hub for its members, disseminating information and promoting coordination among all agricultural organizations and sectors. Since 2006, the KAC also has served as the “steward of strategic planning” for the future of Kentucky agriculture and Kentucky’s rural communities. www.kyagcouncil.net.

Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts

The Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts is a 501(c)(3) organization consisting of Kentucky’s local conservation districts and watershed conservancy districts. KACD encourages the exchange of information relating to the administration and operation of conservation districts and watershed conservancy districts; to affect cooperation between districts and agencies and organizations concerned with any and all phases of soil and water conservation; to promote the welfare of conservation districts and watershed conservancy districts and the people therein; and to maintain strong and active membership in both KACD and the National Association of Conservation Districts. www.kyconservation.com