Dino Giacomazzi (Photo: Paolo Vescia)
Recipient represents a new breed of producers who believe strongly not only in protecting the environment but in the power of the story of farming.
Source: Sustainable Conservation news release
California dairy farmer Dino Giacomazzi has been named the 2012 recipient of the Leopold Conservation Award in California.
Announced today by the California Farm Bureau Federation, Sustainable Conservation and Sand County Foundation, the seventh annual Leopold Conservation Award for California will be presented Dec. 3 at the California Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting in Pasadena, Calif.
The $10,000 Leopold Conservation Award is named in honor of world-renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold. The award is presented annually in eight states to private landowners who practice exemplary land stewardship and management.
“Dino Giacomazzi has committed himself to the production of not only quality dairy products but also quality soil, water and air,” said Dr. Brent Haglund, Sand County Foundation President. “He is also representative of a new breed of producers who believe strongly in the power of the story of farming, choosing to promote agriculture and conservation through traditional and modern communications methods.”
Giacomazzi is a fourth-generation dairy farmer whose Hanford, Calif., farm is comprised of 900 dairy cows on 900 acres.
“Giacomazzi represents what it means to farm responsibly and sustainably, enhancing natural resources as part of his work,” noted the news release announcing Giacomazzi's award.
He participated in one of the first conservation tillage projects in California, which has proven to enhance soil, water and, especially, air quality in an area that typically experiences high air pollution levels. Not content to confine these successes to his own farm, Giacomazzi is a leader in communicating the benefits of conservation tillage to other dairy farmers. His communication methods are both new and traditional, utilizing social media channels and hosting demonstrations and field days at his farm to connect with those inside and outside of the agricultural community.
“Ever since I started thinking about conservation as a practice, I have been seeking a reward,” Giacomazzi said. “The reward of leaving this farm for my son in better condition than my father left it for me. It isn’t as much of a desire as an obligation since my father, grandfather and great-grandfather had done that for me. Conservation farming is really the only way I know how to do it … adapt to change, preserve the land, try to make money and move the family farm forward.”
The Leopold Conservation Award in California is supported in part with generous contributions from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation; the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; The Nature Conservancy and Farm Credit.