(Lincoln, Neb.) Today, Gov. Dave Heineman was joined by the Nebraska Cattlemen in announcing the recipient of the 2013 Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award. In honor of Earth Day, Governor Dave Heineman announced the Beel family of Johnstown as the recipient of the 2013 Leopold Conservation Award. The award is presented annually to private landowners who practice responsible land stewardship and management.
“Earth Day is the perfect time to acknowledge the conservation efforts of Nebraska landowners, including this year’s award recipients, the Beel family,” said Gov. Dave Heineman. “More than ninety percent of Nebraska’s land is used for farming and ranching. It is being well cared for by those who take on the responsibility of leaving things better for future generations. Conservation on private land is something Nebraskans do very well.”
The Leopold Conservation Award, named in honor of world-renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, is comprised of $10,000 and a Leopold crystal. Sand County Foundation, Nebraska Cattlemen and Cargill present the award annually.
Celebrating 75 years on the ranch, the Beel Family takes pride in looking back on the progress they have made and look forward to what lies ahead for future generations. Owned and operated by brothers Frank, Henry and Adam, along with their wives Jennifer, Mary and Jenny, the Beel Ranch was handed down by their father and grandfather who instilled in them the importance of treating the land with care. Today, they make it a priority to teach their own children the importance of maintaining and caring for our natural environment.
“The Beel family has always been and always will be excellent stewards of the natural resources that they are entrusted with,” said Dennis Bauer of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cooperative Extension in a letter of support. “You get that sense any time you converse with them about rations, mineral nutrition, weed control or wildlife concerns. You can feel the sense of pride and dedication they have in caring for the land and animals.”
In 2013, Sand County Foundation will present Leopold Conservation Awards in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. The awards are presented to accomplish four objectives: First, they recognize extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation on the land of exemplary private landowners. Second, they inspire countless other landowners in their own communities through these examples. Third, they provide a visible forum where leaders from the agricultural community are recognized as conservation leaders to groups outside of agriculture. Finally, the award program brings representatives from agriculture, environmental organizations, government, industry and academia to advance private land stewardship.