Finalists Selected for Maryland Leopold Conservation Award
DAVIDSONVILLE, MD. (October 13, 2022) — Three finalists have been selected for the 2022 Maryland Leopold Conservation Award®.
Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the prestigious award recognizes farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners who inspire others with their dedication to land, water, and wildlife habitat management on private, working lands.
In Maryland, the Leopold Conservation Award is presented by Sand County Foundation with state partners Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts, and Maryland Farm Bureau Inc. Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award in 24 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation.
The finalists are:
- Long Green Farms Inc. of Rising Sun in Cecil County: Caleb and Alice Crothers operate one of Maryland’s oldest dairy farms. They have planted about 60,000 trees as part of a major streambank restoration project. Cover crops are grown to prevent erosion and build soil health. A new heifer housing facility diverts clean rainwater and has a manure storage system to protect water quality.
- Mount Pleasant Acres Farms of Preston in Caroline County: Donna Dear and Paulette Green’s farm contains 111 acres of row crops, fruits and vegetables, forests, and wetlands. The farm’s a showcase of forestry management, organic food production, and Black history, as it was a stop along the Underground Railroad. A food forest is providing a habitat for insect pollinators, songbirds and game birds.
- Persimmon Tree Farm of Westminster in Carroll County: At Carolyn Krome’s horse farm, pastures are managed to avoid erosion and over-grazing. Warm season grasses are kept vibrant with prescribed burns. Restored wetlands and streambanks provide wildlife habitat. Five acres of wildflowers are regularly weeded and maintained to attract insect pollinators.
Earlier this year, Maryland landowners were encouraged to apply (or be nominated) for the award. Applications were reviewed by an independent panel of agricultural and conservation leaders. The award recipient will be recognized at the Maryland Farm Bureau Annual Convention later this year.
The recipient receives a $10,000 award, and the conservation success found on their farm, ranch or forest will be featured in a professional video.
Last year’s inaugural recipient of the award was the Warring family’s Persistence Creek Farm of Faulkner in Charles County.
“It takes immense determination and hard work to implement thoughtful practices for the betterment of land and the environment. We truly appreciate the dedication to innovation and we’re proud to be one of the supporting organizations for this award. Congratulations to all the finalists and thank you for your taking on what can feel like a thankless job,” said Samantha Campbell, Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment President.
“These award finalists are examples of how Aldo Leopold’s land ethic is alive and well today. Their dedication to conservation shows how individuals can improve the health of the land while producing food and fiber,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and CEO.
“As the national sponsor for Sand County Foundation’s Leopold Conservation Award, American Farmland Trust celebrates the hard work and dedication of the Maryland award finalists,” said John Piotti, AFT President and CEO. “At AFT we believe that conservation in agriculture requires a focus on the land, the practices and the people and this award recognizes the integral role of all three.”
The Leopold Conservation Award is given to farmers, ranchers and forestland owners across the U.S. in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold. In his influential 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.
The Maryland Leopold Conservation Award is made possible through the generous support of American Farmland Trust, Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, Maryland Farm Bureau Inc., Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts, Sand County Foundation, Maryland Department of Agriculture, MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Delmarva Chicken Association, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Conservancy, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, ShoreRivers, and The Nature Conservancy.
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LEOPOLD CONSERVATION AWARD PROGRAM
The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. Sand County Foundation presents the award in California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont). www.leopoldconservationaward.org
THE KEITH CAMPBELL FOUNDATION FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
The Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment’s mission in the Chesapeake Bay Region is to improve water quality and ecological balance in the Bay and its rivers, as a healthy bay fosters a vibrant regional economy and provides exceptional recreational opportunities and a better quality of life. The Foundation provides approximately $7 million in funding through more than 150 grants annually, and has been funding in the region since 1998. www.campbellfoundation.org
MARYLAND FARM BUREAU®, INC. is a 501(c)(5) federation that serves as the united voice of Maryland farm families. Our organizational strength comes from the active participation of over 12,000 individual and family members who belong to the state’s 23 local county Farm Bureau organizations. Since 1915, Maryland Farm Bureau has been committed to protecting and growing agriculture and preserving rural life. Maryland Farm Bureau is a proud member of the American Farm Bureau® Federation. www.mdfarmbureau.com
MARYLAND ASSOCIATION OF SOIL CONSERVATION DISTRICTS serves as the voice of Maryland’s 24 soil and water conservation districts on state legislative issues. It also provides a forum for training, policy-making and the exchange of information at their annual and quarterly gatherings. Its mission is to promote practical and effective soil, water, and related natural resources programs to all citizens through individual conservation districts on a voluntary bases through leadership, education, cooperation and local direction.
SAND COUNTY FOUNDATION
Sand County Foundation inspires and empowers a growing number of private landowners to ethically manage natural resources in their care, so future generations have clean and abundant water, healthy soil to support agriculture and forestry, plentiful habitat for wildlife and opportunities for outdoor recreation. www.sandcountyfoundation.org
AMERICAN FARMLAND TRUST
American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through its No Farms, No Food message. Since its founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and supported thousands of farm families. www.farmland.org