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New York seeks farms for annual conservation award
New York Ag Connection - 02/09/2024

New York's Agriculture Commissioner announced applications are open for the fifth annual Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) Leopold Conservation Award, honoring outstanding conservation efforts by farms and their local Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

The $10,000 award, presented in partnership with Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust, recognizes farmers who champion sustainable practices on their land. Applications close May 15th, 2024, and are accepted through local Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

Previous recipients include Dygert Farms and the Montgomery County Soil and Water Conservation District in 2023. This award celebrates both environmental responsibility and agricultural success, embodying the land ethic of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold.

American Farmland Trust President John Piotti emphasizes the program's focus on "the land, the practices and the people," highlighting the interconnectedness of conservation efforts. Sand County Foundation President Kevin McAleese applauds the award recipients for demonstrating "how individuals can improve the health of the land while producing food and fiber."

The award program is made possible by the support of various organizations, including American Farmland Trust, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

This annual recognition program encourages continued dedication to sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship within New York's farming communities.

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