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South Dakota Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees
South Dakota Ag Connection - 07/06/2022

Nominations and applications are now being accepted for the 2023 South Dakota Leopold Conservation Award.

The $10,000 award honors ranchers, farmers and forestland owners who go above and beyond in their management of soil health, water quality and wildlife habitat on working land.

Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 24 states. In South Dakota, the award is presented with the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association and the South Dakota Grassland Coalition.

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

The application deadline is March 6. Applications can be emailed to

Selected recipients must be available to host a tour and video production team during the summer, and participate in a fall award presentation.

The Leopold Conservation Award Program in South Dakota made possible thanks to the generous support of American Farmland Trust, South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, South Dakota Grassland Coalition, Sand County Foundation, First Dakota National Bank, South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation, South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks; South Dakota State University College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Audubon Dakota, Bad River Ranches, Belle Fourche River Watershed Partnership, Blair Brothers Angus Ranch, Cammack Ranch, Daybreak Ranch, Ducks Unlimited, Jim and Karen Kopriva, McDonald's, Millborn Seeds, North Central SARE-Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, South Dakota Pheasants Forever, Professional Alliance, South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts, South Dakota Agricultural Land Trust, South Dakota Soil Health Coalition, South Dakota Soybean Association, The Nature Conservancy, Todd Mortenson family, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-Partners for Fish and Wildlife, and Wagner Land & Livestock.

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