California Dairy Farmer to Receive Leopold Conservation Award

November 14, 2012 10:17 AM
California Dairy Farmer to Receive Leopold Conservation Award

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.

Read Dino Giacomazzi's latest "Tech Talk" column in the November issue of Dairy Today.

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.

In 2012, Sand County Foundation is presenting Leopold Conservation Awards in California, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming. The awards are presented to recognize extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation on the land of exemplary private landowners; inspire other landowners in their own communities through these examples; showcase conservation leaders in the agricultural community to people outside of agriculture and build bridges among several private and public sectors in support of private land conservation.

Sand County Foundation is a private, non-profit conservation group dedicated to working with private landowners to improve habitat on their land. The Foundation’s mission is to advance the use of ethical and scientifically sound land management practices and partnerships for the benefit of people and the ecological landscape. Sand County Foundation works with private landowners because the majority of the nation’s fish, wildlife and natural resources are found on private lands. The organization backs local champions, invests in civil society and places incentives before regulation to create solutions that endure and grow.

Sustainable Conservation believes protecting the environment can also be good for business. The organization’s climate, air, water and wildlife initiatives promote practical solutions that produce tangible, lasting benefits for California. Founded in 1993, Sustainable Conservation’s effectiveness lies in building strong partnerships with business, agriculture and government – and establishing models for environmental and economic sustainability that can be replicated across California and beyond.

The California Farm Bureau Federation is California's largest farm organization. It works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of 53 county Farm Bureaus throughout California, whose members include farm families and those who support the farming way of life.

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