Six families were honored with regional Environmental Stewardship awards during the 2017 Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting on July 13, 2017. The Environmental Stewardship Award Program recognizes the nation’s best cattle and livestock operation and their stewardship and conservation efforts. This year’s regional winners will compete for the national award, which will be announced during the Annual Cattle Industry Convention in Phoenix, Ariz., in February 2018.
This year’s regional winners include: Blue Lake Farm, LLC, operated by Rusty and Jessie Thomson, Sharon, S.C.; SFI, Inc., Seth and Etta Smith, Nemaha, Iowa; Sterling Cattle Company, Jimmy and Theresa Sterling, Coahoma, Texas; Flying Diamond Ranch, Scott and Jean Johnson, Kit Carson, Colo.; Jim O’Haco Cattle Company, Jim and Jeanni O’Haco, Winslow, Ariz.; and Munson Angus Farms, LLC, Chuck and Deanna Munson, Junction City, Kan.
“The desire to leave the land better than they found it is a common trait among cattle raisers,” says Dave Owens, beef marketing specialist with sponsor Dow AgroSciences. “You certainly see that in action in the families that are being honored with this award. They’re all making a real, on-the-ground difference in protecting and improving the environment.”
Established in 1991 by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to recognize outstanding land stewards in the cattle industry, ESAP is generously sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation.
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Craig Uden echoed the sentiments of Owens, explaining that cattlemen and women across the nation take their commitment to the land, air and water resources in their care very seriously.
“The men and women who raise livestock in this country are the original stewards of the land. We know that we are only successful when we take the best possible care of the natural resources with which we’ve been entrusted,” said Uden, “We understand the importance of improving those resources and leaving them better for future generations. Each of the families being honored are outstanding examples of what is possible for the beef industry and they serve as an inspiration for producers everywhere to continue improving their stewardship practices now and in the future.”