Innovations on the Land:

Managing for Change

August 9-10, 2016

For generations, landowners and land managers have honed the ability to adapt to change. But the changes farmers and ranchers face today are more rapid and wide ranging than ever before. Landowners must adapt to changing regulations, climate, technology and demands of food consumers, all while managing natural resources – the land, water and wildlife in their care.

Sand County Foundation is proud to present “Innovations on the Land: Managing for Change.” This national symposium, August 9 & 10, 2016, will bring together the nation’s leading private landowner conservationists and leaders from academia, government and non-government organizations to exchange ideas and learn about the most innovative approaches to responsibly managing agricultural lands in the face of sweeping change.

The Symposium

Over two inspiring days at the
 coastal Asilomar Conference 
Grounds on California’s Monterey Peninsula and 
in the fields of the Salinas Valley, attendees will gather to collaboratively address how to thrive in a changing environment as they learn from the leading practitioners in agriculture, academia and industry.

Topics include environmental changes related to climate water quality and quantity and soil health; economic and policy changes related to the Endangered Species Act, commodity and input prices and emerging biotechnology; and social changes including population pressures and changing consumer desires.

The Work Session

Symposium participants will put their learning to work
 in a half-day, facilitated session to develop a set of recommendations around U.S. agricultural policy. As the nation’s very best farmers and ranchers, these men and women provide an authoritative viewpoint on how America can achieve its conservation objectives in an era of flat or declining funding. Following the symposium, a select subcommittee will develop a paper based on the outcomes of the work session.

The Experience

An afternoon tour of farms in the Salinas Valley will bring to life some of the innovative conservation practices leading agriculturists are embracing. Built on
 a $4.4 billion agriculture industry, the Salinas Valley is commonly referred to as America’s Salad Bowl because of its agricultural diversity and abundant produce. Given its massive contribution to our food supply, the area provides
 a unique opportunity to examine how one of the 
largest agricultural communities manages our natural resources while responsibly producing affordable, nutritious food.

Learn more about the Innovations on the Land symposium …

Voices from the Land:

Conservation in American Agriculture

February 3-4, 2014

The majority of land in the continental United States is privately held, and what happens on private agricultural land affects us all.  It has implications for our food, water, wildlife, and our business and recreational interests.

On February 3-4, 2014, Sand County Foundation will convene a group of interested Leopold Conservation Award recipients and program partners near Capitol Hill to participate in a message training session and meetings with policy makers, like-minded organizations and relevant press to discuss the critical importance of voluntary, private landowner conservation efforts.

We are proud to bring to Washington, D.C. a group of award-winning farmers and ranchers who are voluntarily advancing environmental improvements on the land.

Landowners from California, Colorado, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming will assemble to provide a vision for the future of U.S. agriculture consistent with American’s expectations for environmental protection.

After a special midday briefing for government and policy leaders, a reception will be held to hear from these exemplary landowners alongside other leaders from business, government and philanthropy

 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Bernstein Global Wealth Management

800 Connecticut Avenue, NW

(corner of Connecticut Ave. and H Street)

Washington, D.C. 20006


Innovations on the Land:

Private Conservation for the Public Good

July 25-26, 2013

The majority of the land in the United States is privately owned, so America’s farmers, ranchers, and foresters are critical to the health of our natural resources. To exchange ideas about agriculture and conservation, Sand County Foundation, Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Land Trust, and University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s Center for Grassland Studies brought together dozens of Leopold Conservation Award-winning landowner conservationists for Innovations on the Land: Private Conservation for the Public Good.

The symposium convened leading farmers, ranchers, and foresters to address private-public partnerships, conservation and economics, and other issues important to the agricultural community and the general public.

There were several goals for the gathering. First, provide an opportunity for Leopold Conservation Award recipients, other landowners, award partners and sponsors to educate, interact, and exchange ideas with award recipients from other states. Second, bring Leopold Conservation Award recipients together to address challenges that will help us all identify innovative solutions and opportunities involved in private lands conservation. The aim of this interaction and subsequent conversations was to foster a sense of community among the award recipients and generate ideas of how they, as a growing national group, could tackle important agricultural and environmental issues. Our third goal was to develop education and communications materials incorporating and crystallizing themes and discussions covered during the conference. To do so allowed participants to carry the information beyond the symposium to families across the nation who work the land.