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People dedicated to the environment eligible to be nominated for the Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award


Nominations are now open for the 2024 Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award. Officials said the award goes to any landowner or farmer who inspires others with their dedication to land, water, and wildlife habitat management.

It’s given 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.

Jonathan Shell is the Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture. He said Kentucky has a great commitment to conservation practices and that farmers are the best stewards of the land.

“It’s just something that we take very serious here in Kentucky, to ensure that next year is always more important than this year, and the conservation practices are extremely important to all of our agriculturalists and farmers across the state,” said Shell.

Shell said a conservation effort that landowners can employ is fencing in ponds to keep animals from getting into it.

“It’s a good practice for your animal producers because they’re not having calves out in the middle of the pond, and they’re not getting stuck in the mud and things. It also helps with the water retention in your pond if you don’t have animals inside of it, kind of breaking down the structure of that pond,” said Shell.

The award is presented in 26 states by the Sand County Foundation. In Kentucky, the $10,000 prize is presented with the American Farmland trust, the Kentucky Agricultural Council, and the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts. The first Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award was presented to Sherwood Acres Farm of LaGrange in 2013.

The application deadline is March 31. More information can be found here.