Jimmy and Ginger Emmons of Leedey, Okla. Honored with Oklahoma Leopold Conservation AwardThu, 12 Apr 2018 15:24:50 CDT
Emmons Farm has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Oklahoma Leopold Conservation Award®.
The prestigious award, given in honor or renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation by American ranchers, farmers and foresters in 13 states.
In Oklahoma the award is presented by Sand County Foundation, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation, ITC Holdings Corp. and The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.
Emmons Farm is owned and managed by Jimmy Emmons and his family. The farm was converted to no-till in 1995, and Jimmy later went a few steps further and adopted crop rotations, cover crops and planned grazing management to decrease soil erosion from water and wind, and increase water infiltration of the soil. In addition to conventional soil testing, Jimmy uses specialized soil and plant tissue testing to determine soil fertility. This helps him reduce fertilizer application rates by crediting the system for nutrients supplied by soil microbes.
Jimmy was one of the first farmers in his area to experiment with pollinator strips and companion crops. Both have helped create habitat for beneficial insects, which help control crop pests without the need for additional insecticide. Although his initial experimental plots had slightly less yield than average for the area, his net profit was greater since the yield decrease and cover crop costs were less than what the insecticide expense would have been.
"Being the inaugural recipient in Oklahoma is very exciting," Emmons said during an interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays. "To bring the Leopold... that stands for stewardship of the land and resources, is very special to our family."
You can listen to that entire interview with Emmons talking about his operation and conservation efforts and what it means to receive this award, by clicking or tapping on the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
Sand County Foundation, the nation’s leading voice for private conservation, created the Leopold Conservation Award to inspire American landowners by recognizing exceptional ranchers, farmers and foresters.
In his influential 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac; Aldo Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage. He wrote it was “an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.”
Jimmy and Ginger Emmons were presented with a $10,000 award, and a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold, at the Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry Atrium in Oklahoma City on April 12.
“The Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation is thrilled to celebrate the Emmons family as the first recipients of the Leopold Conservation Award,” said Chris Kidd, Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation’s Director of Fundraising and Public Relations. “The Emmons embody Aldo Leopold’s land ethic, and all Oklahomans benefit for their outstanding stewardship.”
“Jimmy and Ginger Emmons put their passion for conservation to work not only on their operation but also by channeling it into service through leadership and communication,” said Chad Ellis, Noble Research Institute Manager of Industry Relationships and Stewardship. “When I think of the Leopold Conservation Award, I think of people who have a passionate desire to protect, conserve and regenerate our natural resources; when I think of protecting, conserving and regenerating our natural resources in Oklahoma, I think of the Emmons.”
“We are pleased to support Sand County Foundation to bring the Leopold Conservation Award to Oklahoma and congratulate the Emmons Farm on their achievements in landowner stewardship,” said Donna Zalewski, ITC Holdings Corp. Director of Local Government, Community Affairs and Philanthropy.
“On behalf of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, congratulations to Emmons Farms as the first winner of the Leopold Conservation Award in Oklahoma,” said Michael Kelsey, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association’s Executive Vice President. “Emmons Farms is a superb inaugural winner of this prestigious award which recognizes the outstanding stewardship of Oklahoma farmers and ranchers. Their story will give great confidence to Oklahomans that farmers and ranchers as private landowners are doing important and wonderful work every day.”
The Leopold Conservation Award in Oklahoma is made possible thanks to the generous contributions from the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation, ITC Holdings Corp., and Noble Research Institute.
For more information about the Leopold Conservation Award and Sand County Foundation, click here.
Source - Oklahoma Conservation Commission
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