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Farm family puts focus on conservation

(KOLNKGIN)
Published: Apr. 23, 2020 at 2:44 PM CDT
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Ed and Leta Olson of Craig have been selected for the 2020 Nebraska

Leopold Conservation Award.

The Burt County farmers will receive the prestigious award, given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold. The award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation by American farmers, ranchers and foresters in 21 states.

In Nebraska, the award is presented annually by Sand County Foundation, Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN), Cargill and the Nebraska Environmental Trust.The Olsons will be presented with the $10,000 award at a public event later this year.

“The Olsons are the epitome of the farmer-conservationists,” said Steve Martin, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN). “They create habitat for wildlife and improved the soil with innovative farming practices. Ed shares his passion for the outdoors as a mentor and instructor. This ensures that future generations are connected to nature and care about conservation.”

“The Olson’s integration of conservation into their farming practices is apparent through the many years of developing habitat for wildlife on their farm,” said Sammy Renteria, general manager of Cargill in Schuyler. “We salute their devotion to farming while providing quality

habitat for wildlife and their willingness to share these resources with the surrounding community.”

“Ed Olson has been a great spokesman for conservation. He has an ethic like that of Leopold when it comes to his land and its wildlife,” said Mark Brohman, Nebraska Environmental Trust Executive Director.

“Recipients of this award are real life examples of conservation-minded agriculture,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer. “These hardworking families are essential to our environment, food system and rural economy.”

The 2019 recipient was Broken Box Ranch (Russ and Angela Sundstrom) of Moorefield. The Leopold Conservation Award in Nebraska is made possible thanks to the generous contributions from Cargill, Nebraska Environmental Trust, Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska, Sand County Foundation, Farm Credit Services of America, Audubon Nebraska, Lyle Sittler Memorial Fund, McDonald’s, Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Nebraska Game

and Parks, Nebraska Land Trust, Rainwater Basin Joint Venture, Sandhills Task Force, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, World Wildlife Fund - Northern Great Plains, and Green Cover Seeds. For more information on the award, visit www.leopoldconservationaward.org

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