The Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation awarded Al Montna, a rice farmer from Yuba City the 2010 Leopold Conservation Award. The US$10,000 Award is presented to private landowners who practice exemplary land stewardship and management.
Mr Montna and his family owns Montna Farms which cultivates rice in more than 2,000 acres (810 ha) of short grain rice. He has consciously practiced wildlife-friendly agriculture to provide habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds and thus reduced pesticide use. Montna Farms’ rice operation is geared toward maximum yields and production. But, along with rice production, the farms are managed to sustain large migrating waterfowl populations. He showed that both objectives of high rice production and environment sustainability can be achieved simultaneously through conscious ecological planning. For video, click here.