Finalists named in South Dakota Leopold Conservation Award Program

Farm Forum

Pierre – Sand County Foundation, the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association and the South Dakota Grassland Coalition are proud to announce the finalists for the 2013 Leopold Conservation Award, which honors South Dakota landowner achievement in voluntary stewardship and management of natural resources.

The finalists are as follows:

· Cammack Ranch of Union Center

· Guptill Ranch of Quinn

· Jorgenson Land and Cattle Partnership of Ideal

· Slovek Ranch of Philip

Cammack Ranch is a 7,000-acre cattle ranch in west central South Dakota. The ranch is owned by Gary and Amy Cammack, who also own Cammack Ranch Supply in Union Center.

Guptill Ranch in western South Dakota is a 7,000-acre cattle operation. Pat and Mary Lou Guptill have owned and operated this family-run ranch for the past 25 years.

Jorgenson Land and Cattle Partnership is a fourth generation diversified crop, livestock and hunting operation on 18,000 acres in south central South Dakota. It is owned by Bryan and Brenda Jorgensen; Cody and Abby Jorgensen; Greg and Deb Jorgensen; Martin and Mary Jorgensen, and Nicholas Jorgensen.

Slovek Ranch is a nearly 14,000-acre cattle ranch in west central South Dakota. It is family owned and operated by Bill and Pennie Slovek and their son Bo.

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.”

Award applicants are judged based on their demonstration of improved resource conditions, innovation, long-term commitment to stewardship, sustained economic viability, community and civic leadership, and multiple use benefits.

“Our South Dakota finalists are tremendously committed to stewardship of natural resources and to sharing what they’ve learned with the broader community,” said Brent Haglund, president, Sand County Foundation. “They truly work to enhance the South Dakota landscape.”

The 2013 award recipient, who will receive $10,000 and a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold, will be announced April 19. The recipient will be recognized at the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association’s Annual Convention in December.

“The Leopold Conservation Award is an important tool in helping us celebrate the conservation efforts of South Dakota’s private landowners and SDCA is proud to recognize these finalists for making conservation a priority in their family businesses,” said Cory Eich, a cow-calf producer and president of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association.

“Each year I’m impressed by the quality of the applicants for the Leopold Conservation Award. It proves to us all that South Dakota is fortunate to have responsible landowners whose stewardship sets an example for others to follow,” said Jim Faulstich, chairman, South Dakota Grassland Coalition.