Are you a Utah rancher, farmer, or forestland owner improving soil health, water quality, and wildlife habitat on your working land? Apply for the 2023 Utah Leopold Conservation Award®. 

Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 25 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In Utah, the $10,000 award is presented with Utah Farm Bureau Federation, Western AgCredit and Utah Cattlemen’s Association. 

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. Applications are reviewed by an independent panel of Utah’s agricultural and conservation leaders. 

The application deadline date is August 1, 2023. Applications can be emailed to If mailed, applications must be postmarked by August 1, and mailed to:

Leopold Conservation Award

c/o Utah Farm Bureau Federation

9865 S. State Street

Sandy, UT 84070


The application can be found at 

“The wise use of our resources and care for the land are always on the mind for Utah’s farmers and ranchers,” said Ron Gibson, Utah Farm Bureau Federation President. “I’m proud of the great efforts of Utah’s farmers and ranchers to take care of the land and water, which is of great concern right now. I look forward to recognizing these farm and ranch families for what they’ve been doing, and will continue to do, with this prestigious award.” 

“Utah farmers and ranchers do an amazing job of caring for their lands and natural resources,” said Brent Tanner, executive vice president of the Utah Cattlemen’s Association. “The Leopold Conservation Award demonstrates that Utah farmers and ranchers are stewards of the land and truly care for the environment.” 

“Farmers and ranchers are the original conservationists, and they continue today to utilize tried and true practices, along with emerging technology, to conserve water, improve range ground, and enhance wildlife habitat,” said Western AgCredit President David Brown. “Utah farmers and ranchers have a great conservation story to tell, and we encourage them to showcase their contributions to environmental stewardship by applying for the Leopold Conservation Award.” 

“As a national sponsor for Sand County Foundation’s Leopold Conservation Award, American Farmland Trust celebrates the hard work and dedication of farmers, ranchers and forestland owners,” said John Piotti, AFT President and CEO. “At AFT we believe that conservation in agriculture requires a focus on the land, the practices and the people and this award recognizes the integral role of all three.” 

“Recipients of this award are examples of how Aldo Leopold’s land ethic is alive and well today. Their dedication to conservation shows how individuals can improve the health of the land while producing food and fiber,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and CEO. 

The Leopold Conservation Award Program in Utah is made possible thanks to the generous support of American Farmland Trust, Utah Farm Bureau Federation, Western AgCredit, Utah Cattlemen’s Association, Sand County Foundation, Producers Livestock Marketing Association, The Nature Conservancy in Utah, Utah Association of Conservation Districts, Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, and Utah Wool Growers Association. 

The Utah Leopold Conservation Award will be presented at the Utah Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting in November. 

The first Utah Leopold Conservation Award recipient was selected in 2007. Myrin Ranch of Altamont received the award in 2022. 

For more information on the award, visit

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The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. Sand County Foundation presents the award in California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont).



American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices on the land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through its No Farms, No Food message. Since its founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and supported thousands of farm families.



Sand County Foundation inspires and empowers a growing number of private landowners to ethically manage natural resources in their care, so future generations have clean and abundant water, healthy soil to support agriculture and forestry, plentiful habitat for wildlife and opportunities for outdoor recreation.


The Utah Farm Bureau is the largest general farm and ranch organization in the state with more than 34,000 member families. Its mission is to inspire all Utah families to connect, succeed and grow through the miracle of agriculture. It strives to bring value to every citizen and community through love of God, family, country, and the land through political action, educational and informational means.



The Utah Cattlemen’s Association has represented Utah cattle producers since 1870, preserving the heritage and strength of the industry through education and public policy and by supporting and establishing the adoption of good principles of raising and marketing cattle and caring for the land we ranch on. Efforts are made possible through membership contributions.



Western AgCredit is the leader within the agricultural finance industry with nearly 100 years of lending to farmers in the Intermountain West. It currently serves approximately 1,700 customers with a full range of credit and financial services, as well as providing financial and volunteer support to several agricultural and community activities, including, among others, Utah Farm Bureau, Utah Cattlemen’s Association, Utah Wool Growers Association, the FFA, and the 4-H.