Leopold Conservation Award

Celebrating California Farmers, Ranchers and Other Landowners for Sound Stewardship

There’s one vital group of Californians that perhaps gets praised the least for promoting a healthy environment across the state: landowners.

Because more than 50% of all land in California is privately owned, how these folks manage their properties has a dramatic and lasting effect on the environment — from climate change, to clean air and water, to wildlife. They are the front-line defenders in protecting the quality of our air and water, landscapes that protect people and wildlife alike, and ensuring a healthy climate for the state. Moreover, the fate of imperiled species, 90% of which make their homes on private land, largely rests in these individual’s hands.

2018 Nomination Form

Leopold Conservation Award

That’s why in 2006 we teamed up with the Sand County Foundation — a Wisconsin-based nonprofit that works with landowners to improve wildlife and habitat nationally — and the California Farm Bureau Federation to co-sponsor the first-ever Leopold Conservation Award in California. Advancing sustainable land stewardship is something we’ve been championing for nearly two decades.

Dedicated to the spirit of world-renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold (author of A Sand County Almanac), the Leopold Conservation Award celebrates the extraordinary efforts of California farmers and ranchers to protect and restore the natural resources they preside over. Having become a resounding success in seven states — and here in the Golden State — the award also aims to inspire other would-be conservationists and promote a better understanding among the public about the important role landowners play in sustaining a healthy planet.

Nationwide Leopold Conservation Award information.

Leopold Conservation Award Recipients


Press & Accolades


California Farm Bureau Federation
Sand County Foundation

From our blog

C. Jeff Thomson, International Named 2017 Recipient of the California Leopold Conservation Award

Co-sponsored by Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation, the Leopold Conservation Award honors extraordinary landowner achievement in the voluntary stewardship and management of natural resources. We’re proud to announce C. Jeff Thomson International as the 2017 recipient of the prestigious California Leopold Conservation Award®. The award was presented posthumously to Mr. Thomson’s family…

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2017 Leopold Conservation Award Finalist: C. Jeff Thomson International

When Jeff Thomson thinks about conservation, he doesn’t just think about his individual fields. From the people you work with to the practices you implement, stewarding the land and its resources for the future takes constant care and balance. C. Jeff Thomson International’s diversified operations and wetland management make them a fantastic candidate for the…

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2017 Leopold Conservation Award Finalist: Rollin Valley Farms

  What does a sustainable dairy look like? Brothers Donny and Andy Rollin have been farming their entire lives with that question in mind. Sweet Haven Dairy’s commitment to animal, crop and environmental health make them an ideal candidate for the 2017 Leopold Conservation Award. The Rollin brothers are third-generation dairy farmers who came to…

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