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Cashton area couple finalists for prestigious conservation award

| September 25, 2013 | 0 Comments
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A Cashton area couple learned this week they are finalists for the Wisconsin Leopold Conservation Award. Jack and Pat Herricks operate a dairy farm outside of Cashton along with their three children and their families. 

Jack began farming at 19 when his father Leonard was killed in a tractor accident and he stepped in to run the family farm. The farm was a 34 cow dairy operation back then. Today the Herricks farm over 1,200 acres and milk 600 cows and have 15 employees.

The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. The award consists of a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold and a check for $10,000. In 2013, Sand County Foundation will also present Leopold Conservation Awards inCalifornia, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.  The awrad is presented by The Sand County Foundation and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

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.” 

The 2013 Leopold Conservation Award will be presented Wednesday, November 13 at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection board meeting in Madison. Each finalist will be recognized at the event, and the award recipient will be presented with a crystal depicting AldoLeopold and a check for $10,000. 

The other finalists are:

  • ·        Hans Jr. and Katie Breitenmoser of Merrill
  • ·        Dick and Kim Cates of Spring Green
  • ·        David and Angelita Heidel of Random Lake

Hans and Katie Breitenmoser own Breitenmoser Farm in northern Wisconsinwhere he manages 400 dairy cows and more than 1000 acres of cropland.

Dick and Kim Cates operate Cates Family Farm, a grass-fed beef enterprise on 700 acres in southwest Wisconsin.

David and Angelita Heidel own and operate an organic dairy farm in eastern Wisconsin.

The Leopold Conservation Award in Wisconsin is made possible through the generous support of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Alliant Energy Foundation, American Transmission Company, Rural Mutual Insurance Company, UW-Extension, We Energies Foundation, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association. 



Sand County Foundation ( is a private, non-profit conservation group dedicated to working with private landowners to improve habitat on their land. Sand County’s mission is to advance the use of ethical and scientifically sound land management practices and partnerships for the benefit of people and their rural landscapes. Sand County Foundation works with private landowners because the majority of the nation’s fish, wildlife, and natural resources are found on private lands. The organization backs local champions, invests in civil society and places incentives before regulation to create solutions that endure and grow. The organization encourages the exercise of private responsibility in the pursuit of improved land health as an essential alternative to many of the commonly used strategies in modern conservation. 


The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation ( is Wisconsin’s largest general farm organization. It represents nearly 24,000 farms and agriculturists who belong to one of 61 county Farm Bureaus found across the state. Much like Wisconsin’s diverse agricultural landscape, Farm Bureau members represent all farm commodities, farm sizes and management styles. Farm Bureau’s mission is to lead the farm and rural community through legislative representation, education, public relations and leadership development.     








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Category: Agriculture

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