The seven regional honorees who will vie for the 2006 National Environmental Stewardship Award (ESA) have been named. Among the honored are: Region I, Blight Family Farms in Albion, MI; Region II, Hayston Farms in Mansfield, GA; Region III, Clan Farms in Atlantic, IA; Region IV, San Pedro Ranch in Carrizo Springs, TX; Region V, Thaler Land & Livestock in LaGrange, WY; Region VI, Diablo Trust Ranches in Coconino County, AZ; Region VII, Brown's Gelbvieh Ranch in Bismark, ND.

The seven operations were cited for stewardship practices that can serve as exemplary models for all cattle producers. An overall winner will be announced during the 2007 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, TN, in February.

"The seven regional winners have made extensive efforts to work closely with their local communities and government agencies, including the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), to implement conservation programs that benefit everyone. They have seen the value in utilizing tools such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) on their operations. These folks showcase how the implementation of cooperative research efforts, educational events and government programs can really pay off," said a 2006 ESAP Selection Committee news release.

The program is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences LCC and the Natural Resource Conservation Service.
-- Joe Roybal