Virgina Farm Receives Regional Environmental Stewardship Award
ORLANDO, FL. (Feb. 2, 2024) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) announced today that Tuck Farms, in Moneta, Virginia, was selected as a regional winner of the 2023 Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP). The farm was recognized during the CattleCon24 in Orlando.
“Cattle producers from coast to coast are committed to preserving natural resources for future generations,” said NCBA President Todd Wilkinson. “It is an honor to recognize these regional winners who utilize innovative practices and epitomize environmental stewardship.”
Established in 1991, ESAP celebrates outstanding land stewards in the cattle industry. Regional ESAP winners come from every corner of the country and undertake stewardship efforts unique to their environment, landscape and resources. The selection committee determined winners based on eligible applications received from six of the seven regions. The 2023 Environmental Stewardship Award Program Regional Winners are:
- Region I: Tuck Farms, Moneta, Virginia
- Region II: JB Ranch, Immokalee, Florida
- Region IV: G Bar C Ranch, Rosston, Texas
- Region V: Tower Rock Ranch, LLC, Mansfield, Washington
- Region VI: Hart Ranch, Montague, California
- Region VII: Bartholomay Kattle Kompany, Sheldon, North Dakota
“Tuck Farms’ strategic use of conservation technical and financial assistance to enhance wildlife habitat and natural resources on the land while maximizing production and economic viability, make it an excellent choice for this award,” said Edwin Martinez, USDA NRCA Virginia State Conservationist. “In addition, Keith Tuck humbly shares his knowledge and experience with farmers and professionals alike, frequently speaking at pasture walks, training sessions and conferences at local, state and national levels.”
Located 25 miles southeast of Roanoke, Virginia, Keith Tuck is dedicated to sustainable and environmentally conscious management on his cattle operation. Tuck Farms is adjacent to Smith Mountain Lake, which provides potable water for local communities and is a tourist destination for water recreation. Utilizing NRCS and Soil and Water Conservation District best management practices, Tuck installed fencing and water infrastructure to implement rotational grazing. His managed grazing efforts have improved animal condition, soil health and wildlife habitat. Fencing cattle out of ponds and streams has prevented erosion and repaired banks with vegetative cover, resulting in clear water. Tuck also developed mutually beneficial partnerships with agriculture agencies, non-profits, and service-oriented organizations, which has been instrumental in achieving his environmental and economic goals. The farm plays a positive role in the community and serves as a picturesque landscape for passing tourists.
“Rotational grazing is simple. The key to it is management,” said Keith Tuck with Tuck Farms. “You’ve got to look at yourself not as a cattle producer but a forage producer who markets through cattle. You’re a grass farmer.”
ESAP is generously sponsored by companies and federal agencies who share the cattle industry’s commitment to caring for the environment and protecting natural resources. Sponsors including U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Corteva Agriscience, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partner with NCBA to promote environmental stewardship throughout the beef supply chain.
Posted: February 6, 2024