Alabama Farm Honored with National Environmental Stewardship Award

| April 26, 2023

WASHINGTON (April 25, 2023) - The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) announced today that Carter Cattle Company, LLC, in Pintlala, Alabama, is the 2022 National Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) winner. The award, which annually recognizes the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of cattle producers, was presented to the Carter family during NCBA’s annual Spring Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

“Carter Cattle Company is an excellent example of how cattle producers across the country undertake stewardship efforts unique to their environment, landscape and resources,” said NCBA President Todd Wilkinson. “The Carters are keenly focused on conserving natural resources for future generations.”

Sustainability began as a lifestyle more than a practice seven generations ago in the mid-1820s when the farm was established. The Carters make management decisions with the future in mind, utilizing rotational grazing for their forage-based feeding program. Rotational grazing has been vital to improving the overall health of the farm ecosystem, soil health, forage base, watershed, livestock and wildlife. 

“It is an honor and lifelong dream to receive this award, and extremely humbling,” said Dr. Will Carter of Carter Cattle Company. “We are in the cattle business, but we are in the grass business first. Our job is to manage the grass and allocate it to the cattle that then take the resource and produce something of greater value.”

Through conservation incentives offered under the Watershed Project and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Carters installed 2,000 feet of water lines to two new water troughs, protected 1,250 square feet of heavy use areas and built 1,300 feet of fence to exclude cattle from Pintlala Creek. These efforts help the Carters utilize the land in the most effective way for their cow herd while protecting natural resources. In addition, being good stewards doesn’t stop at the farm gate, as both Will and Monnie Carol Carter are veterinarians who care for other animals in their community.

“Cattle and a clean environment go hand and hand,” Carter said. “This place wouldn’t be in the condition it’s in and improving each year if it weren’t for the cattle.”

Established in 1991, ESAP identifies outstanding land stewards in the cattle industry. Each year, seven families are recognized with regional Environmental Stewardship awards, with one being honored as the national winner.

2022 Regional Winners:

Region I: Lamb Farms, Inc., Oakfield, New York
Region II: Carter Cattle Company, LLC, Pintlala, Alabama
Region III: Huth Polled Herefords and S&H Livestock Enterprises, LLC, Oakfield, Wisconsin
Region IV: Parks Ranch, Goliad County, Texas
Region V: Mannix Brothers Ranch, Helmville, Montana
Region VI: Fulstone Ranches, Smith, Nevada
Region VII: Jorgensen Land & Cattle Partnership, Ideal, South Dakota

Previous National ESAP Honorees:

2021: JY Ferry & Son, Inc., Utah
2020: Beatty Canyon Ranch, Colorado
2019: Blackbeard’s Ranch, Florida
2018: Thunder View Farms, New York
2017: Jim O’Haco Cattle Company, Arizona
2016: Black Leg Ranch, North Dakota
2015: Maggie Creek Ranch, Nevada

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, McDonald’s, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partner with NCBA to promote environmental stewardship throughout the beef supply chain. For more information, visit