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Who will be the next stewardship star?

First came the Lambert family in 2017. The Scherders, Brinkers and Yoders followed. Most recently, the Oetting family and Britt family were honored in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Who will be the 2023 recipient of the Missouri Leopold Conservation Award?

Nominations are now being accepted for the program, which recognizes farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who go above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources. Winners are awarded a $10,000 prize for their efforts.

The Sand County Foundation, a nonprofit conservation organization, presents the Leopold Award in 25 states based on such criteria as innovation, adaptability, resilience, lead­ership and communications. Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes those who inspire others with a dedication to land, water and wild­life habitat management. Missouri Farmers Care, a coalition of agricultural organizations including MFA Incorporated, partners with the foundation to bring the award to the Show-Me State.

“Missouri farmers and ranchers continually strive to sup­port long-term viability and productive capac­ity of their operations,” said Missouri Farmers Care Chairman Jeff Houts. “We are honored to highlight innovative leaders who are using stewardship practices to improve land, air, water and habitat for future generations.”

Nominations may be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may nominate themselves. The application can be found at MOFarmersCare.com/lca. Submitting applications online is preferred, or they can be mailed to Missouri Farmers Care Foundation, 19171 State Highway 11, Kirksville, MO 63501. All applications must be submitted or postmarked by June 30, 2023. Finalists will be announced in September with plans to present the award in November 2023.

More information on the award and past winners can be found at online at www.leopoldconservationaward.org.

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