Farm Credit joins in saluting Rominger Brothers Farms, the winner of this year’s California Leopold Conservation Award. Farm Credit is a long-standing sponsor of the annual award, presented to landowners who ethically manage the natural resources in their care.
The Sand County Foundation, in conjunction with Sustainable Conservation and the California Farm Bureau Federation, presented the Winters-based farming operation with $10,000 and a crystal award at the Farm Bureau’s annual meeting in Monterey last month.
Bruce and Rick Rominger grow diversified crops – including wine grapes, processing tomatoes, rice and hay – in ways that protect the environment, using a full toolbox of stewardship practices and partnerships. This includes planting miles of hedgerows to benefit important pollinators like bees, restoring over 5,000 feet of stream corridors to connect riparian areas and wetlands to aid a variety of species, and managing irrigation water on their rice fields to boost declining shorebird populations.
Mark Littlefield, CEO of Farm Credit West, said Farm Credit associations strongly encourage good stewardship of agricultural land.
David Bailey, the Sand County Foundation’s western director, said the support of Farm Credit and other partners and sponsors makes the Foundation’s efforts possible.
“The Leopold Conservation Award celebrates extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation, and by doing so inspires countless other landowners and builds bridges between agriculture, government, environmental organizations, industry and academia to advance the cause of private lands conservation,” Bailey said.
“None of this would be possible without the sponsors like Farm Credit who generously support our efforts.”
The Sand County Foundation presents the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 20 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes landowners who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat management on private, working land. In his influential 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.