The Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) acknowledges producers who go the extra mile when it comes to preserving and enhancing the resources on their land.

Application Information | Nomination Form | Past Winners

Each year, the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) honors a Montana ranch that exemplifies environmental stewardship and demonstrates a commitment toward improved sustainability within the beef industry. While the program highlights industry stewardship, it also provides cattlemen with examples and ideas which may be useful on their own farming and ranching operations.

Montana ranchers depend on the land and its resources for their livelihood. Therefore, good management demands that producers care for the environment for their own well-being as well as for future generations. Ranchers, as individuals and as an industry, are actively working to protect and improve the environment because they know environmental stewardship and good business go hand-in-hand.

Environmental Stewardship Award winners are prime examples of how environmental management benefits both the rancher’s bottom line and the resources in their care.

2022 ESAP Winners

Helmville Ranching Family, MSGA Members Honored with 2022 Regional Environmental Stewardship Award

NEW ORLEANS, (February 1, 2023) – The Mannix Brothers Ranch, in Helmville, Mont., has been selected as one of seven regional honorees of the Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP). The award, announced during the 2023 Cattle Industry Convention and NBCA Trade Show, recognizes the operation’s outstanding stewardship and conservation efforts. Regional winners will compete for the national award, which will be presented during NCBA’s Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., April 24-27, 2023.



Program History

Established in 1991, the national Environmental Stewardship Award Program provides an opportunity for the beef industry to showcase the stewardship and business practices that exist together on progressive farms and ranches.

State winners selected by the Montana Stockgrowers Association advance to the regional and national levels. Since the establishment of the program, Montana has won 15 regional awards and two national awards.

Help us continue this strong tradition by taking the time to apply for this prestigious award, or by nominating a producer in your area who has practiced environmentally sustainable practices or demonstrated conservation improvements on their land.

Help us spread the message that cattlemen are the original stewards of the land!

Who to Nominate

The next ESAP winner is any rancher you know who demonstrates a commitment toward improved sustainability within the beef industry. This could be your neighbor, family member, friend, someone in your community, it could even be YOU.

This award serves as an honor to those who are nominated, so give this compliment to someone you know who is improving resources and ranching for the future.

Application Deadline

  • Applications for the Montana Environmental Stewardship Award are due on July 15, 2024.
  • Applications can be emailed to [email protected], mailed to MSGA’s office at 420 N. California St., Helena, MT 59601, or submitted online below.
  • Applications may be submitted at an earlier date for review/critique by MSGA staff.

Timeline for Winners


  • March 1 | Montana ESAP Nominations open
  • July 15 | Montana ESAP Nominations open
  • Summer – Fall | Montana ESAP winner is chosen by ESAP Committee
  • August – March | MSGA staff + winner begin process of developing regional application to submit to


  • March | Regional application is due
  • MSGA MidYear Meeting | Montana ESAP winner announced


  • June – September | ESAP winners host Raising the Steaks Ranch Tour in coordination with the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation

Application Rules & Process

  • Ranches may be nominated by anyone, including themselves. The ranch must be a member of the Montana Stockgrowers Association and NCBA.
  • Applicants will agree to a ranch visit by Montana Stockgrowers staff for photography, video interviews, and other digital material as a part of the application process. Material may be used as promotional material for Montana ESAP and Montana Stockgrowers Association.
  • Once a winner is determined, the winner will be announced at the MSGA MidYear Meeting.
  • MSGA staff will then work with the winner to prepare their application for the Regional and National Award competition, which is typically due in late February/early March of the following year.



2022 – Mannix Brothers Ranch, Helmville (Region V Winner)

2021 – Joe C King & Sons Ranch, Winnett (Region V Winner)

2020 – TG Ranch, Lennep

2019 – Castle Mountain Ranch, White Sulphur Springs

2018 – Hahn Ranch, Townsend (Region V Winner)

2017 – Two Creek Monture Ranch, Ovando

2016 – Cherry Creek Ranch, Terry (Region V Winner)

2015 – American Fork Ranch, Two Dot (Region V Winner)

2014 – LaSalle Ranch Inc., Havre

2013 – Padlock Ranch, Scott Family and Wayne Fahsholtz, Ranchester, Wyo (Region V Winner)

2012 – Bold Ranch, Robert and Annette Bold, Winifred (Region V Winner)

2011 – Keystone Ranches, Inc., Ismay

2010 – Ranchers Stewardship Alliance, Malta

2008 – Veseth Cattle Company, Malta (Region V Winner)

2007 – IX Ranch Company, Big Sandy

2006 – Mule Tracks Cattle Company, Malta

2005 – Rein Anchor Ranch, Melville

2004 – Barthelmess Ranch Corporation, Malta (Region V Winner)

2002 – Sieben Livestock, Cascade (Region V Winner)

2001 – Milesnick Ranch, Belgrade (Region V Winner)

2000 – Warm Springs Grazing Association, Alder

1999 – Christensen Ranch, Big Timber

1998 – Matador Cattle Co., Dillon (Region V Winner) (National Winner)

1997 – Tee Six Ranch, Choteau

1996 – Robert E. Lee Ranch, Judith Gap (Region V Winner) (National Winner)

1995 – Sitz Angus Ranch, Harrison (Region V Winner)

1994 – Ruffatto Land and Cattle Company, Hamilton

1993 – Ray Banister Ranch, Wibaux

1992 – Smith 6-S Ranch, Glen (Region V Winner)