The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is currently accepting applications for the15th annual Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP). Any group or organization is eligible to nominate one individual/business who raises or feeds cattle. The deadline for applications is March 4, 2005.
“We’re very excited about how popular this award program has become, and how many exceptional cattle operations are involved each year from across the country,” says Megan Tipton, program director with NCBA. “This is the best way for producers to showcase innovative stewardship practices on today’s progressive farms and ranches. Every year, more and more cattle producers are actively utilizing inventive technologies to further protect and improve the environment. Environmental stewardship and good business have always gone hand-in-hand, and we are proud to recognize today’s modern pioneers.”
Sponsored by Dow AgroSciences and USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), the Environmental Stewardship Program recognizes cattle producers who use innovative practices to protect and enhance natural resources while maintaining or increasing the profitability of their businesses. Nominees compete for one of seven regional awards based on their state of residency. The seven regional winners then compete for the national award.
“I want to send a message to all producers across the country this fall: if you’ve neglected to enter in the past, this is the year to take the time out of your busy schedule and apply — or nominate an operation you believe exemplifies true stewardship practices,” says NCBA President and Kansas producer Jan Lyons. “The ESAP award has inspired many operations in our industry to try new techniques utilized by the winners, and it continues to exhibit to the world how cattle families who live off the land are the original, true environmentalists.”
“It looks like this year’s program will be another highly competitive contest — so I am advising all interested parties to get their nomination applications in the mail as soon as possible,” says Tipton. “Although the deadline is months away, compiling the application takes some time.”
The ESAP nomination application is readily available online at hill.beef.org/esap, or contact NCBA’s Washington D.C. office to request a copy, 202/347-0228.