A prestigious award program that celebrates voluntary conservation by ranchers, farmers and forestland owners is coming to New Mexico.

The Leopold Conservation Award recognizes landowners who inspire others with their dedication to ethical land, water and wildlife habitat management on agricultural land.

Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 22 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In New Mexico, the award is presented with New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts and Quivira Coalition.

“Recipients of this award are real life examples of conservation-minded agriculture,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation president and chief executive officer. “These hard-working families are essential to our environment, food system and rural economy.”

The Leopold Conservation Award is given to farmers, ranchers and forestland owners across the U.S. in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold. In his influential 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.

Applications for the first New Mexico Leopold Conservation Award are now being accepted. Owners of ranch, farm and forestland in New Mexico may apply for the award themselves or be nominated by another party. Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of agricultural and conservation leaders.

The recipient receives a $10,000 award and the conservation success found on their farm, ranch or forest will be featured in a professional video.

The application deadline is April 1, 2021. The application is at www.sandcountyfoundation.org/ApplyLCA.

The application can be completed online, or emailed to award@sandcountyfoundation.org.

If mailed, applications must be postmarked by April 1, 2021 and mailed to:

Leopold Conservation Award

c/o Quivira Coalition

1413 Second Street, Suite 1

Santa Fe, NM 87505

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