Now in its 32nd year, the Environmental Stewardship Award has annually recognized the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of U.S. cattle producers from across the nation. Regional and national award winners have been commended for their commitment to protecting the environment and improving fish and wildlife habitats while operating profitable cattle operations. The common trait among all winners is the desire to leave the land in better shape for future generations while also inspiring the next generation of land stewards.
While the program highlights stewardship, it also provides fellow cattle producers with examples and ideas which may be useful on their own farm and ranching operations.
Nominations can be submitted by any organization, group, or individual on behalf of a U.S. cattle producer. In the past, nominations have been submitted by a diverse mix of organizations. A partial list includes: The Nature Conservancy, NRCS, Society for Range Management, state games and parks services, state extension services, universities, wildlife organizations, and all types of livestock groups.
Environmental Stewardship Award winners are selected annually by the Environmental Stewardship Award Selection Committee, a group of representatives from universities, conservation organizations and federal and state agencies. For guidance, the judges consider the management of water, wildlife, vegetation, air, and soil along with leadership abilities and the sustainability of the business as a whole.
Nominees will be competing for one of seven regional awards based on their state of residency. After the application deadline, the Environmental Stewardship Award Selection Committee meets to decide upon the regional winners. From the regional winners, one national winner is then selected later in the year.
The Environmental Stewardship Award Program was established in 1991 by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Corteva Agriscience, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the United States Department of Agriculture, McDonald's and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.