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News Release

Leopold Conservation Award® Program Seeks Nominees in Kentucky

Frankfort, Ky. – (January 16, 2017) Sand County Foundation, the Kentucky Agricultural Council (KAC) and the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts (KACD) are accepting applications for the Leopold Conservation Award program in Kentucky. The $10,000 award honors Kentucky farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who voluntarily demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources.

“Landowners throughout Kentucky are committed to the enhancement of the state’s rich and diverse landscape,” said Sand County Foundation President, Kevin McAleese. “Their conservation work benefits us all.”

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. It inspires other landowners through these examples and provides a visible forum where farmers, ranchers and other private landowners are recognized as conservation leaders. In his influential 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage, which he called “an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.”


"The Kentucky Agricultural Council is proud to be part of the Leopold Conservation Award program,” said Kentucky Agricultural Council Chair, Sharon Furches. “We are proud of the past four year winners, each representing the diversity of the Commonwealth Agricultural Industry and their high standard for stewardship of our natural resources. "We are blessed with so many more well deserving agricultural producers in Kentucky who are deserving of this recognition." 


“KACD and conservation districts promote the sound management of all our natural resources and we are excited to join the Sand County Foundation and the Kentucky Agricultural Council in recognizing a well deserving landowner in Kentucky,” said David Rowlett, KACD President.  “The Association and conservation districts work daily to assist private landowners in their efforts to adopt sound soil and water conservation practices on their land that benefit us all.”


Nominations must be postmarked by April 1, 2017, and mailed to Leopold Conservation Award, c/o Franklin County Conservation District, 103 Lakeview Court, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601. Electronic nominations and supporting materials can be submitted to on or before the deadline.


The award will be presented at the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts Convention on July 11, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky.


The Leopold Conservation Award in Kentucky is made possible thanks to the generous support of Brereton and Elizabeth Jones Charitable Family Foundation, Farm Credit Mid-America, Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts, Kentucky Corn Growers Association, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation, Natural Resources Conservation Service, University of Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Kentucky Woodland Owners Association and the Kentucky Tree Farm Committee.

For application information, please visit or


The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. Sand County Foundation presents Leopold Conservation Awards in California, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Sand County Foundation is a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to working with private landowners across North America to advance ethical and scientifically sound land management practices that benefit the environment.



The Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts (KACD) is 501(c)(3) organization consisting of Kentucky’s local conservation districts and watershed conservancy districts. KACD encourages the exchange of information relating to the administration and operation of conservation districts and watershed conservancy districts; to affect cooperation between districts and agencies and organizations concerned with any and all phases of soil and water conservation; to promote the welfare of conservation districts and watershed conservancy districts and the people therein; and to maintain strong and active membership in both KACD and the National Association of Conservation Districts.



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.