Cattle producers, as individuals and as an industry, are actively working to protect and improve the environment, because they know environmental stewardship and good business go hand-in-hand. A common trait among all ESAP winners is the desire to leave the land in better condition for future generations and inspire the next generation of land stewards. While the program highlights stewardship, it also provides fellow cattle producers with examples and ideas which may be useful on their own farms and ranches.
Any individual, group or organization is eligible to nominate one individual or business raising or feeding cattle. Individuals and families may not nominate themselves, although nominees may be involved in the preparation of the application. Past nominees are encouraged to resubmit applications; however, previous winners may not reapply.
Along with a typed application, one nomination letter and three letters of recommendation highlighting the nominee’s leadership in conservation are required. Nominees do not have to be members of NCBA but should support the objectives of their state and national organization.
Award winners are selected by a committee of representatives from universities, conservation organizations as well as federal and state agencies. For guidance, the judges consider the management of water, wildlife, vegetation, air, and soil along with leadership abilities and the sustainability of the business as a whole.
Seven regional winners will be recognized at the 2023 Cattle Industry Convention in New Orleans, La., in February 2023, and the national winner will be announced at the Celebration of America’s Land Stewards Event in Washington, D.C., in March 2023. Travel and registration are provided by ESAP for winners.
The Environmental Stewardship Award is an initiative of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, and is funded by Corteva Agriscience, McDonald’s and the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture along with a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For more information and to download the nomination packet, visit www.environmentalstewardship.org.