Now is a good time to start the process of nominating ranches for the Environmental Stewardship Awards Program (ESAP) for 2019.
The actual nominations aren't due until March 9, 2018, but because pictures are an important part of the nomination process, summer is a good time to start.
Any organization, group or individual may nominate someone. The nominee can be cow-calf operator, stocker operator or feeder. The management practices that give bragging rights in this contest are those which benefit both the environment and the bottom line of the operation.
Judges consider management of soil, water, wildlife, air and vegetation. They also look at leadership and "sustainability" of the business.
There are seven regional winners, to be named at the summer meeting of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA). From those seven ranches, a winner will be named the following February at NCBA's annual meeting and convention.
Besides NCBA, the contest is also sponsored by Dow Agrosciences, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
You can find information about the program and application process at EnvironmentalStewardship.org, or contact Jill DeLucero at the National Cattlemen's Foundation, 303-850-3321.