Pankey Ranch Receives Colorado Leopold Conservation Award

April 13, 2022

Pankey Ranch has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Colorado Leopold Conservation Award®.

Keith and Shelley Pankey and their children raise beef cattle and hay in Moffat and Routt counties. The conservation practices that the Pankeys have implemented are improving wildlife habitat, water quality, and soil health. 

The award, given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, recognizes ranchers, farmers, and forestland owners who inspire others with their voluntary conservation efforts on private, working lands.

The Pankeys will be presented with the award on June 13 at the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association’s Annual Convention in Colorado Springs.

In Colorado the award is presented annually by Sand County FoundationAmerican Farmland TrustColorado Cattlemen’s AssociationColorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land TrustTri-State Generation and Transmission AssociationUSDA-Natural Resources Conservation ServiceGates Family FoundationAmerican AgCreditCoBankFarm Credit of Southern Colorado, and Premier Farm Credit.

“CCALT is proud to announce the Pankey Ranch and Pankey family as the 2022 Leopold Conservation Award recipients. The Pankey family are tremendous land stewards and fully embody Aldo Leopold’s land ethic,” said Erik Glenn, Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust Executive Director. “This year’s nominees showcased the true diversity of agriculture in Colorado and the immense dedication farming and ranching families have to the lands they steward, their communities, and their families.”

“Colorado farming and ranching families provide invaluable benefits to their communities and the environment, while feeding a growing society. These contributions, in addition to commitments to conservation and stewardship on working lands, are exemplified by all the Leopold Conservation Award applicants,” said Steve Wooten, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) President. “CCA warmly extends its congratulations to the Pankey family on their well-deserved recognition, and being leaders in Colorado’s conservation and ranching industry.”

“The recipients of this award are examples of how Aldo Leopold’s land ethic is alive and well today. Their dedication to conservation shows how individuals can improve the health of the land while producing food and fiber,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and CEO.

“As the national sponsor for Sand County Foundation’s Leopold Conservation Award, American Farmland Trust celebrates the hard work and dedication of the Colorado recipient,” said John Piotti, AFT president and CEO. “At AFT we believe that conservation in agriculture requires a focus on the land, the practices and the people and this award recognizes the integral role of all three.”

Among the many outstanding landowners nominated for the award was finalist: Round River Resource Management LLC of Rush, Colorado.

The Leopold Conservation Award in Colorado is made possible by generous contributions from the American Farmland Trust, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, Sand County Foundation, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, American AgCredit, CoBank, Farm Credit of Southern Colorado, Premier Farm Credit, Gates Family Foundation, Stanko Ranch, Colorado Department of Agriculture, The Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, The Nature Conservancy in Colorado, and McDonald’s.

Sand County Foundation presents the Leopold Conservation Award to landowners in 24 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation.

For more information on the award, visit

Source: Colorado Cattlemen's Association