Helena – The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) recently nominated Keystone Ranches, Inc. and the Bill Almy family of Ismay, Mont. for the 2011 regional and national Environmental Stewardship Award sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation. This annual award recognizes the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of cattle ranchers across the nation. Keystone Ranches was the winner of MSGA’s 2011 Montana Environmental Stewardship Award, presented at MSGA’s Annual Convention in December 2010.
“Bill Almy has been a member of MSGA since 1950 and has been the driving force behind the improved environment on Keystone Ranches since 1960,” said Ariel Overstreet, MSGA’s manager of communications. “The long history of Keystone Ranches under the care of the Almy family demonstrates the positive impact that environmental stewardship can play in the profitability and sustainability of a ranching operation, as well as the health and well-being of the landscape, wildlife populations and local communities.”
Over the past 50 years, the Almys have made the best use of available resources. In partnership with various groups and agencies, they have implemented water and grazing management innovations on Keystone Ranches that have raised the carrying capacity of the land by almost 50 percent, cut their debt-to-asset ratio from 55 percent to under 15 percent, improved wildlife habitat, maintained long-term relationships with employees, and supported their eastern Montana community.
“The Almys have been great leaders in our state industry and in their local communities,” Overstreet said. “MSGA was proud to nominate the Almys for the regional and national award.”
Regional winners of the Environmental Stewardship Award will be notified in May with a public announcement to follow in July. The national winner will be announced at the 2012 Cattle Industry Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn. To learn more about the Montana Environmental Stewardship Award and see MSGA’s nomination submission for the national award, click here. For more information on the national Environmental Stewardship Award Program, click here.
MSGA is seeking applications for the 2012 Montana Environmental Stewardship Award. Initial applications are due June 1, 2011 and final submissions are due Sept. 1. To learn more, visit the link above, or call Ariel Overstreet at (406) 442-3420. The Montana Environmental Stewardship Award is sponsored by MSGA’s Research, Education and Endowment Foundation brought to you by Montana Beef Producers and Checkoff Dollars.