Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

2014 Utah Leopold Conservation Award

Commissioner LuAnn Adams congratulates Stewart and Carma Johnson for receiving this year's Leopold Conservation Award during the Utah Farm Bureau Convention.  The award recognizes outstanding land management and business practices by livestock operators.


The Johnson Mountain Ranch, operating from Sevier County, is the recipient of the prestigious Utah Leopold Conservation Award®.  Stuart and Carma Johnson, with their son Jared and his wife Ginger, own and operate the cattle ranch near Aurora.




The Leopold Conservation Award is sponsored in Utah by the Sand County Foundation in partnership with the Utah Farm Bureau Federation, Utah Cattlemen’s Association, and Western AgCredit. NRCS supports the award by producing videos on the nominees and award winner each year that are shown at the UACD and Farm Bureau annual meetings. The video on the Johnson family can be seen on the Utah NRCS YouTube channel.

The prestigious award honors Utah landowner achievement in voluntary stewardship and management of natural resources. The Johnsons were presented with a crystal award and $10,000 at the Utah Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Convention in Layton Friday evening. The accompanying photo shows (left to right) Farm Bureau President Leland Hogan and the Governor’s Environmental Advisor Alan Matheson presenting the award to Steward and Carma Johnson; and Jared and Ginger Johnson and their four children at the Farm Bureau Gala Agriculture Banquet.
Finalists for the award included Jerrold Richins of Coalville, and William “Junior” Goring and son Blake of Deweyville.
The Johnsons graze a herd of cow calf pairs and replacement heifers on different landscapes year round.  With help from NRCS and other partners, the family has worked to improve the health and productivity of the ranch.  Some of their conservation practices include a rotational grazing program, removing juniper and other brush, and reseeding spring range infested with cheat grass.
Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. It inspires other landowners through these examples and provides a visible forum where farmers, ranchers and other private landowners are recognized as conservation leaders. In his influential 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac, Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage, which he called “an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.”









 posted: Nov. 25, 2014