DENVER — The 23rd annual Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) has officially opened its nomination season for 2013. Established in 1991 by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the program has recognized the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of U.S. cattle producers for more than two decades. Regional and national award winners are honored for their commitment to protecting the environment and improving fish and wildlife habitat while operating profitable cattle businesses.
Seven regional winners and one national winner are selected annually by a committee of representatives from universities, conservation organizations, and federal and state agencies. The nominees compete for regional awards based on their state of residency, and these seven regional winners then compete for the national award. Candidates are judged on management of water, wildlife, vegetation, soil, as well as the nominee’s leadership and the sustainability of his or her business as a whole.
“Environmental stewardship and conservation have long been the focus of farmers and ranchers, who are America’s foremost land stewards,” said NCBA President J.D. Alexander. “Responsible use of land and resources is a priority for cattlemen and women. The ESAP award highlights efforts by producers who are committed to conservation and sustainability efforts.”
Any individual, group or organization is eligible to nominate one individual or business who raises or feeds cattle. Past nominees are eligible and encouraged to resubmit their application; previous winners may not reapply. Along with a completed application, the applicant must submit one nomination letter and three letters of recommendation highlighting the nominee’s leadership in conservation.
The program is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences; the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS); the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the National Cattlemen’s Foundation (NCF); and NCBA.
Applications for the 2013 ESAP award are due Mar. 1, 2013. For more information and a complete application packet, visit www.environmentalstewardship.org.