2023 North Carolina Environmental Stewardship Award Program 

Description and Application Procedures 

Beef producers use their management skills to convert natural resources into a healthy food product. To be successful in the long run, it is in our best interest to be good stewards of the land we manage. There has been an increased awareness about human impact on the environment, and the beef industry has initiatives at all levels to improve environmental stewardship. This award is just one more effort to improve environmental awareness of beef producers and to educate the general public about environmental efforts of the beef industry.

There are many examples of environmental stewardship among North Carolina cattlemen. The North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association, the North Carolina Forage and Grassland Council, and Merck Animal Health have teamed up to recognize innovative environmental stewards in North Carolina’s beef industry with an Environmental Stewardship Award. The award is meant to recognize innovative cattlemen and to provide positive examples and ideas for conservation practices that can be easily implemented by North Carolina beef producers.  Previous winning applications can be viewed below.

Read about Past NC ESA Award Winners

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must raise beef cattle and must be a member of the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association and the North Carolina Forage and Grassland Council. A producer may not nominate themselves, but may be nominated by any organization or individual, which may include an extension agent, industry personnel, conservation agent, a county cattlemen’s association, or another individual producer. Generally, a producer will be involved in preparing their application. Past winners can’t resubmit, but resubmission of past nominees is encouraged.  Winners of the award will be added to a pool of candidates who will be considered for nomination for the national environmental stewardship award presented by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.


A committee composed of representatives from NCCA, NCSU, conservation agencies, and the allied industries will review the application packages.

The following criteria will be used to score applications:

  1. Environmental stewardship practices implemented (60%)
  2. Local, regional, and national leadership activities that promote environmental stewardship to other producers and improve the public image of the beef industry (40%)

Nomination Instructions

Applications must be typed and the length should be 12 pages or less. Applications should be submitted electronically via e-mail. Color photographs of practices implemented are requested as part of the maximum 12 pages, with captions that describe the practice. Practices that might be featured include alternative watering points, stream buffers, feeding facilities, or any other practices that improve the environment. 

Nomination Package Format

Section 1. Description of the operation.

  • Name of producer
  • Address
  • Phone number and e-mail address
  • Map of North Carolina showing the location of the farm(s).
  • What is the nature of the business? Describe the cattle enterprise (cow/calf, stocker, combination) and other diversified business activities.
  • History of the operation (length of ownership, changes in the operation over time, acreage, herd numbers, etc.).
  • Brief description of natural resources on the farm (types of forages, terrain, and water resources).
  • List organizations that the farm has interacted with in environmental efforts.

Section 2. Stewardship practices and achievements. 

  • Describe the resource management goals and accomplishments in terms of stewardship and conservation. Describe specific, innovative practices that involve energy conservation, wildlife habitat enhancement, manure management, improvements in air quality, improvements in drinking water delivery, and other practices designed to protect surface waters.

Section 3. Stewardship activities.

  • Describe how the producer practices environmental stewardship as a part of their management program. How has a stewardship philosophy impacted management strategies, implementation of land improvements, and other activities that improve the public perception of cattle farming in North Carolina? Include any leadership activities of the producer that have improved the adoption of a stewardship philosophy among other producers. Also include any involvement the producer has had in environmental research and any other activities the producer has been involved in that promote a positive public image.

Convert the document to a pdf format and e-mail to: [email protected]

The nomination packet should be submitted by February 10, 2023.