Skip Navigation

News Release

2013 Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award Recipient Named

Chris Schellpfeffer
608-663-4605 x31

Award recognizes landowners who exemplify outstanding stewardship

Frankfort, Ky.– (October 28, 2013) Sand County Foundation and the Kentucky Agricultural Council (KAC) are proud to announce Sherwood Acres LLC as the recipient of the prestigious 2013 Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award, which honors Kentucky landowner achievement in voluntary stewardship and management of natural resources

Sherwood Acres, a cattle operation outside of Louisville, is owned and operated by Jon Bednarski and his wife Sylvia. They raise Belted Galloway beef, which are marketed locally through a retail outlet, farmers markets and online sales. 

Jon Bednarski was recently honored with the Oldham County Master Conservationist and the Kentucky Master Conservationist awards for outstanding conservation practices on the land and for his role in educating others.  

The Leopold Conservation Award is presented in honor of renowned conservationist and author Aldo Leopold, who called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage. Award applicants are judged based on their demonstration of improved resource conditions, innovation, long-term commitment to stewardship, sustained economic viability, community and civic leadership and multiple use benefits.

“The KAC is so proud to have Jon and Sylvia Bednarski as the first winners of the Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award.  We had 19 outstanding applicants from across the Commonwealth -- which shows the deep interest in the award, as well as the long-held commitment by Kentucky farmers and landowners to conservation,” said Kentucky Agricultural Council Chairman, Tony Brannon.  “We are so honored that Sand County Foundation chose to bring the Leopold Conservation Award Program to Kentucky and that the Kentucky Agricultural Council chose to coordinate this activity for the agriculturalists in our Commonwealth. We are most especially pleased to showcase the award finalists at the 2013 Kentucky Ag Summit on November 14.”

“Aldo Leopold wrote that a farm is the owner’s portrait of himself. The Bednarksi family’s portrait features clean water, profitable grazing and important community outreach. For that we thank them,” said Brent M. Haglund, President, Sand County Foundation. 

The Kentucky Agricultural Council will present the $10,000 Leopold Conservation Award and a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold during a celebration of the Bednarski family and the other finalists at the Kentucky Ag Summit, November 14 and 15, 2013.

Visit or

The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. The award consists of a crystal sculpture depicting Aldo Leopold and a check for $10,000. Sand County Foundation presents Leopold Conservation Awards in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Nationally, the Leopold Conservation Award is made possible thanks to the generous support of The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

Sand County Foundation ( is a private, non-profit conservation group dedicated to working with private landowners to improve habitat on their land. Sand County’s mission is to advance the use of ethical and scientifically sound land management practices and partnerships for the benefit of people and their rural landscapes. Sand County Foundation works with private landowners because the majority of the nation’s natural resources are found on private lands.


The Kentucky Agricultural Council (KAC) is a 501(c)(3) organization consisting of some 80 agricultural organizations representing all sectors of Kentucky agriculture. The membership is composed of commodity groups, state and federal agricultural organizations, agricultural trade organizations and the state’s institutions of higher education that serve Kentucky agriculture.  The KAC functions as an umbrella group and hub for its members, disseminating information and promoting coordination among all agricultural organizations and sectors.  Since 2006, the KAC also has served as the “steward of strategic planning” for the future of Kentucky agriculture and Kentucky’s rural communities.