Washington Ranch Receives Regional Environmental Stewardship Award
ORLANDO, FL. (Feb. 2, 2024) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) announced today that Tower Rock Ranch in Mansfield, Washington, was selected as a regional winner of the 2023 Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP). The farm was recognized during 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
“The families managing Tower Rock Ranch monitor habitat, reduce grazing pressure at the first sign of drought, move livestock frequently to avoid overgrazing, and maintain stocking rates at levels that don’t damage native vegetation,” said Michael Schroeder, research scientist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “In addition, the ranch fully engages with government agencies to take advantage of useful conservation and management programs.”
Since 1883 Tower Rock Ranch has been an active cattle operation. Environmental sustainability is a daily goal and cattle management practices keep water, natural habitat and wildlife top of mind. Wildfire has changed the function and appearance of the ranch many times over the years with brush and small trees consumed, leaving pastures with no shade, fence replacement a financial burden and fewer calves to market. Despite setbacks from fires, the Miller, Matsumura and Vargas families forge ahead with a commitment to protecting the environment. Tower Rock Ranch preserves habitat for sage grouse, releases beneficial insects to control Dalmatian Toadflax, and effectively manages rangeland through rotational grazing. The ranch also regularly hosts tours, training sessions and studies for agency employees, organizations, schools and fellow cattle producers.
“Proper range management is an art that needs to be blended with science,” said Allen Miller with Tower Rock Ranch.
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