Sand County Foundation, in partnership with the Utah Farm Bureau Federation, Western AgCredit and the Utah Cattlemen’s Association, are proud to name H.A. Farms as the recipient of the prestigious Leopold Conservation Award.

The award honors Utah landowner achievement in voluntary stewardship and management of natural resources. The award was presented by Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox at the Utah Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Convention.

H.A. Farms, Inc. is a sheep and cattle ranch in Parowan, Iron County, operated by Dennis Stowell until his death in 2011. The family has continued his tradition of land stewardship, culminating with this award.

For their award, the Stowell family was presented with a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold and a check for $10,000. Finalists for the award included W.F. Goring & Son, Inc. of Deweyville, Box Elder County and Johnson Mountain Ranch in Aurora, Sevier County.

A longtime public servant dedicated to environmental improvement, Stowell served in the Utah State Senate and chaired the Senate Natural Resources Committees. In his agricultural business, he utilized conservation management ideas and innovations to improve the condition of the land, increase productivity and enhance wildlife habitat.

Today, H.A. Farms in managed by Dennis Stowell’s widow, Marilee Stowell, and their sons Coy and Kelly.

In addition to this Leopold Award, the Utah Section of the Society for Range Management honored Coy Stowell in early November with its ‘Excellence in Range Management’ award for the state of Utah.

“We are very excited to present this award on behalf of the farmers and ranchers of Utah,” Leland Hogan said. “This award, however, is great for all of Utah because the recognition and funding helps to preserve and enhance our open space. Utah’s farmers and ranchers have a long history of land preservation and a deep commitment to preserving Utah’s natural resources. As stewards of the land we want to ensure that history continues well into the future.”

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. It inspires other landowners through these examples and provides a visible forum where farmers, ranchers and other private landowners are recognized as conservation leaders. In his influential 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac, Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage, which he called “an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.”