We are honored to tell you that we were awarded the National Cattlemen’s Foundation National Winner of the Environmental Stewardship Award. Last fall, we were awarded the winner of Region VII which consists of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. This week, as part of the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in San Antonio, we were named the national winner. It is hard to believe, given the caliber of the other six regional winners.
There are many people to thank. First and most important is our Creator for giving us the creation to care for. We are in constant awe of all that surrounds us – its complexity, simplicity, beauty, and resiliency. We are very honored to have the privilege to care for it during our tenure in this life.
Our family: the generations that preceded us may have done things differently than what we do today, but they still passed on a love of the land and the work ethic needed to care for it. I think they would approve of what we’re trying to accomplish, even if it isn’t “the way grandpa did it”. Our present-day family as well, for continuing to stay connected to the land and care about what happens to it. We hope to make you proud when you tell people removed from agriculture that these are your roots. (At least we hope not to embarrass you!)
Our neighbors and business partners: the Oxner family, the Vogele family, Jeff Marlette and Jeff and Dixie Beitelspacher, the Huber family, and the Rueb family. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we try new and different things to improve the land.
The agency folks at the Natural Resource Conservation Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service: too many to name, but your technical and financial help in making improvements on our place have been a huge part of getting us to where we are.
The non-agency people who care about stewardship: SD Grasslands Coalition, World Wildlife Fund, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever. Again, your partnership has been important in getting us here.
Our help over the years. All that fence didn’t put itself up. There’s been a lot of people who have stayed for a few days, a few weeks, or a few months to help us get done what needed to be done. Your strong backs and willing attitude (genuine or not) have been essential to developing our infrastructure. And you put up with us! That’s impressive in itself.
Thanks also to the sponsors of the ESAP program:
Natural Resources Conservation Service
US Fish & Wildlife Service
National Cattlemen’s Foundation
We are honored to receive this award and look forward to the upcoming opportunities we’ll have to advance the message of environmental stewardship and how grazing livestock are a vital part of that.
For more information on the Environmental Stewardship Program, visit http://www.environmentalstewardship.org