Slate Ridge Dairy Farm is the 2020 recipient of the Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award®.
Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the prestigious award recognizes farmers, ranchers and foresters who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat resources in their care.
In Pennsylvania, the $10,000 award is presented annually by Sand County Foundation, American Farmland Trust, The Heinz Endowments, and Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.
Ben and Sharon Peckman, who own and operate Slate Ridge Dairy Farm near St. Thomas receive $10,000 and a crystal award for being selected. The Franklin County dairy farmers were revealed as the recipients during the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s virtual Annual Meeting.
Click here to read more about Slate Ridge Dairy Farm. Click here to view a video on the recipients.
The Westmoreland Conservation District (WCD) produced two videos to show their 2020 award recipients’ contributions.
The Ralph Frye family and their operation, Pleasant Lane Farms of Unity Township – 2020 Conservation Farmer of the Year. Click here to watch the video.
The Municipality of Murrysville – 2020 J. Roy Houston Conservation Partner. Click here to watch the video.
Traditionally, the district presented these awards and celebrated the winners at a reception at their headquarters. But this year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, WCD opted to present them in small, private ceremonies at each winner’s location in October. The videos allow everyone to celebrate the accomplishments of these outstanding conservationists.
The 2021 Poster Contest theme is “Healthy Forests = Healthy Communities.” Conservation districts that wish to participate can collect nominations via email, judge them, and forward the winners in each grade category to PACD. PACD will then select the statewide winners to move on to the national contest.
PACD will accept photos of your county’s winners until June 30, 2021. Entries can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for more information on the contest.
From PA Environment Digest Blog, September 25, 2020
On September 25, the PA Association of Environmental Professionals recognized Len Lichvar, Manager of the Somerset Conservation District, with the Walter Lyon Award. The Walter Lyon Award honors an organization, project, or program that made a unique, creative, or significant contribution toward maintenance or restoration of Pennsylvania’s environmental quality or to the field of environmental management.
Somerset County Conservation District Manager Len Lichvar is deeply involved in conservation matters in his county, region, and statewide. Over the past 30 years, the Somerset Conservation District has planned and developed large scale projects to ensure that clean water is available for residents and visitors.
Perry County Conservation District Manager Sally Tengeres recently presented Representative Mark Keller (PA 86th District) with the PACD Legislator Leadership Award in person. The award was announced at the PACD Executive Council Meeting in July.
Several conservationists were recognized during the PACD Executive Council meeting online on July 23, 2020.
“These individuals are shining stars among Pennsylvania’s 66 conservation districts. Today we recognize their efforts going above and beyond for clean water and healthy soil,” said Brenda Shambaugh, PACD Executive Director. “Congratulations to all these individuals and organizations on this recognition.”
The 2020 PACD honorees are as follows:
Legislator Leadership Award Representative Mark Keller (PA 86th District) The Perry County Conservation District nominated representative Mark Keller. He is currently in his eighth and last term representing the 86th Legislative District in Perry and Cumberland counties. He serves as chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.
President’s Award Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission The Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission (SCC) provides financial and other support for the Building for Tomorrow Leadership Development Program. Starting in 2018, the SCC provided funding to hire a full-time program coordinator. This position allows consistent and regular training for conservation district directors, associate directors, and staff.
Ann Rudd Saxman Conservation District Director Excellence Award Sonia Wasco (Lancaster County) Sonia Wasco has been connected to and supported the Lancaster County Conservation District (LCCD) for more than 40 years. Sonia is currently serving as a director on the LCCD board of directors for 12 years after serving as an Associate Director for ten years. She is also an active member of the PACD Executive Board, serving as treasurer. Sonia’s most unique and priceless volunteer work benefitting generations of students is her passion for serving as the co-director of the Lancaster County Youth Conservation School.
Conservation District Employee Excellence Award Brooke Russick (Indiana County) Brooke has worked for the Indiana County Conservation District for five years. She started as a watershed specialist, then moved to the Dirt, Gravel, and Low Volume Road Program specialist position. Through this position, Brooke built relationships with nearly every municipality in the county. These relationships allow the district to receive $1.5 million in requests for program funding each year. Brooke goes above and beyond to maintain the highest level of quality for the projects.
Conservation District Employee Service Recognition Program Awards
30 Years of Service • Susan Gallagher, Chief Naturalist, Carbon County • David Stoner, District Manager, Franklin County • JoAnn McCready, District Manager, Lawrence County • Patrick McKinney, Environmental Education Coordinator, Schuylkill County •Keith Largent, E&S Technician, Somerset County • Sylvia Thompson, Fiscal Coordinator/Bookkeeper II, Wayne County
35 Years of Service • Donna Fisher, District Manager, Blair County • Robert Sweitzer, District Manager (retired), Centre County • Roger Spotts, Head Naturalist, Monroe County • Mark Kimmel, District Manager, York County
While kids are home from school and parents are looking for activities, why not suggest the 2020 Poster Contest to your county residents via Facebook? The 2020 theme is, “Where would we BEE without Pollinators?”
Conservation districts that wish to participate can collect nominations via email, judge them, and forward the winners in each grade category to PACD. PACD will then select the statewide winners to move on to the national contest.
PACD will accept photos of your county’s winners until June 30, 2020. Entries can be emailed to email@example.com. Click here for more information on the contest.
Thanks to Celina Seftas, manager at Huntingdon County Conservation District, for the idea to promote this to families at home!
Do you know a staff person, director, or associate director who has gone above and beyond the call of duty? A legislator who champions conservation legislation? Or a Pennsylvania resident or Pennsylvania-based organization you would like to recognize for their contributions in support of environmental recreation? If so, nominate them for a PACD award!
The awards are:
Ann Rudd Saxman Conservation District Director or Associate Director Excellence Award
Conservation District Employee Excellence Award
Legislator Leadership Award
Maurice K. Goddard Award for Excellence in Environmental Recreation
The deadline for nominations is April 30, 2020. Click here for more information and the nomination forms.
Know a Pennsylvania farmer or forester who goes above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources? Nominate them for the 2020 Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award®.
Sand County Foundation presents the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 20 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In Pennsylvania, the $10,000 award is presented annually with Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and Heinz Endowments.
Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes landowners who inspire others with their dedication to land, water, and wildlife habitat management on private, working land. In his influential 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.
The Pennsylvania Leopold Conservation Award is made possible through the generous support of platinum sponsor, Heinz Endowments, and the assistance and support of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Sand County Foundation, USDA NRCS, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts.
The Leopold Conservation Award is presented at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in January.