Governor Daugaard’s Weekly Column: Celebrating Agriculture’s Leadership in Conservation

daugaardheader DaugaardCelebrating Agriculture’s Leadership in Conservation
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

Our dedicated farming and ranching families, many of whom have been on the land for generations, know how important it is to take care of the land because their livelihoods depend on it. As we celebrate our natural resources on Earth Day, we should applaud stewards of working lands for protecting our land and water.

Each year, the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, the South Dakota Grassland Coalition and the Sand County Foundation bestow the Leopold Conservation Award® on a farming or ranching family who demonstrates outstanding conservation leadership, and is dedicated to land and wildlife conservation. The award is named for renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold.

This year’s Leopold Conservation Award recipients, Cronin Farms, have been committed to keeping land health and livestock welfare at the forefront of their management technique. They attribute their continued success on the land to efforts which mimic the natural environment as much as possible.

Monty and Mike Cronin, with their long-time farm manager Dan Forgey, manage a mixed livestock and crop farm that shares a sizable border with the Oahe Reservoir on the Missouri River. This location draws a significant amount of wildlife to their land. Their diverse enterprise provides an excellent example of how outstanding land stewardship and economic resilience go hand in hand.

Congratulations to Cronin Farms and all landowners across South Dakota who care for the natural resources we all depend on. Their commitment to a healthy environment ensures that our natural resources will be here for our future generations.

For information on Cronin Farms, Inc. and the many conservation practices farmers and ranchers use, visit