The 18th Annual Environmental Stewardship Award Program has officially opened its nomination season for 2008. The program has recognized the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of U.S. cattle producers for almost 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 operations.
“America ’s cattle operations are dedicated to doing what is right for the environment and it is evident in the 114 operations the ESAP program has recognized since its inception,” says Jonathan Beitia, program director for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). “This year, we are expecting another great pool of applicants and encourage your participation in the process.”
Nominations can be submitted by any organization, group, or individual on behalf of a U.S. cattle producer. In the past, nominations have been submitted by a diverse mix of organizations. A partial list includes the Nature Conservancy, the Society for Range Management, state government services, universities, wildlife organizations and livestock groups.
“This is always a great program, which gets a great deal of attention,” says NCBA President and North Carolina cattle producer John Queen. “If you haven’t had a chance to nominate someone in the past, now’s the time! You have until March 14 to get your application and nomination ready.”
The Environmental Stewardship Award Program was established in 1991 by NCBA and is made possible by the support of Dow AgroSciences, LLC, and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). 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.
“This program has inspired cattle producers to try new techniques utilized by the winners, and it continues to reward innovators for their stewardship,” says Queen. “It also exhibits to the world how producers are the original, true environmentalists.”
The deadline for 2008 nomination packet is March 14, 2008. Go to www.beefusa.org/esap or contact NCBA’s Washington, D.C., office to request a copy of the application at 202-347-0228.