Nominate a leader in conservation for the 2021 Missouri Leopold Conservation Award

News from the region
Published Date

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Know a farmer, rancher, or forester who is committed to the care and management of Missouri’s natural resources? Nominate them for the 2021 Missouri Leopold Conservation Award.

The Leopold Conservation Award is presented to private landowners in 22 states who inspire others with their dedication to land, water, and wildlife habitat management on private, working land. The award is given by Sand County Foundation, national sponsor American Farmland Trust, and state partners, including the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). In Missouri, the award recipient receives an Aldo Leopold crystal and $10,000.

The Leopold Conservation Award Program celebrates extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation by private landowners, inspires other landowners by example, and provides a platform by which agricultural community leaders are recognized as conservation ambassadors to those outside of agriculture.

“Aldo Leopold believed that for conservation to be effective, it would have to be practiced on private lands throughout the state,” said MDC Agriculture Liaison Greg Collier. “That’s why this award bearing his name is so important. It recognizes and rewards landowners that practice conservation principles on their land. My hope is landowners utilizing conservation practices in their production agriculture operation will consider applying for this award.”

Aldo Leopold was a conservationist, educator, and author many considered to be the father of wildlife ecology in the United States. His 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” emphasizes the moral responsibility people have to respect and care for natural resources.

To nominate yourself or an individual, an application must be submitted regarding the applicant’s conservation practices and ethics, as well as three letters of recommendation. Applications must be submitted by Wednesday, June 30. To learn more about the application process, visit

Finalists will be announced in September with plans to present the award in November at the Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture.

The Missouri Leopold Conservation Award is made possible thanks to the generous support of Missouri Farmers Care, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, MFA, Inc., Missouri Fertilizer Control Board, MDC, Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, Missouri Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Nature Conservancy in Missouri, McDonald’s, and the Missouri Soil and Water Conservation Program.