MADISON – Sand County Foundation and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation are accepting applications for the $10,000 Leopold Conservation Award, which honors Wisconsin farmers who demonstrate responsible stewardship and management of natural resources.

“We’re extremely proud to continue our partnership with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation to honor the tremendous, voluntary conservation work of farmers in Wisconsin,” said Dr. Brent Haglund, Sand County Foundation President. “This award is a way to recognize farmers across the state who are practicing responsible and innovative land, water and wildlife management in the spirit of Aldo Leopold’s land ethic, which was developed right here in Wisconsin.”

Given in honor of Aldo Leopold, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation, inspires other landowners in their communities through these examples and provides a visible forum where leaders from the agricultural community are recognized as conservation leaders outside of the industry. In his influential book, A Sand County Almanac (1949), 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 Wisconsin Farm Bureau welcomes this opportunity to join forces with the distinguished Sand County Foundation and shine a light on the innovative conservation practices and work that Wisconsin farmers do each day to enhance our environment,” said Bill Bruins, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President.

The Leopold Conservation Award in Wisconsin is made possible through the generous support of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, American Transmission Company, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Rural Mutual Insurance Company and Farm Credit.

The deadline for nominations is Aug. 12, 2011. Finalists will be announced this fall, with the winner of the 2012 Leopold Conservation Award announced in conjunction with Earth Day in April of 2012.

For application information, please visit



The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. The award consists of an Aldo Leopold crystal and a check for $10,000. In 2012, Sand County Foundation will also present Leopold Conservation Awards in California, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.


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 fish, wildlife, and natural resources are found on private lands. The organization backs local champions, invests in civil society and places incentives before regulation to create solutions that endure and grow. The organization encourages the exercise of private responsibility in the pursuit of improved land health as an essential alternative to many of the commonly used strategies in modern conservation.


The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation ( is Wisconsin's largest general farm organization. It represents nearly 24,000 farms and agriculturists who belong to one of 61 county Farm Bureaus found across the state. Much like Wisconsin's diverse agricultural landscape, Farm Bureau members represent all farm commodities, and all farm sizes and management styles. Farm Bureau's mission is to lead the farm and rural community through legislative representation, education, public relations and leadership development.