California Dairy Farmer Honored with Prestigious Stewardship Award

California dairy families constantly renew their commitment to sustainability. This means ongoing stewardship and protection of our planet’s precious natural resources, responsible and ethical care for animals, and delivering — every single day — nutrient-rich, healthy and safe dairy products to millions of consumers.

So it is with great pleasure that Dairy Cares members note the accomplishment of fourth-generation Hanford dairy farmer Dino Giacomazzi, who recently became the first dairy farmer in California to receive the prestigious Leopold Conservation Award.
According to the Sand County Foundation website, the Leopold Conservation Awards recognize landowners actively committed to a land ethic.

“It’s an honor to receive this award,” said Giacomazzi. “Any dairy farmer will tell you that stewardship of the land is part of their being. We work hard to protect and invest in the land so that future generations can continue to sustainably produce food for a growing population.”

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from an article announcing Dino Giacomazzi as the recipient of the Leopold Conservation Award.

Dino Giacomazzi. Photo by Dairy Cares
Dino photoThe California Farm Bureau Federation, Sustainable Conservation and Sand County Foundation are pleased to name dairy farmer Dino Giacomazzi as the 2012 recipient of the Leopold Conservation Award in California.

The seventh annual Leopold Conservation Award for California will be presented December 3 at the California Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting in Pasadena.

The $10,000 Leopold Conservation Award is named in honor of world-renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold. The award is presented annually in eight states to private landowners who practice exemplary land stewardship and management.

“Dino Giacomazzi has committed himself to the production of not only quality dairy products but also quality soil, water and air,” said Dr. Brent Haglund, Sand County Foundation President. “He is also representative of a new breed of producers who believe strongly in the power of the story of farming, choosing to promote agriculture and conservation through traditional and modern communications methods.”

Dino Giacomazzi is a fourth-generation dairy farmer whose farm is comprised of 900 dairy cows on 900 acres. Mr. Giacomazzi represents what it means to farm responsibly and sustainably, enhancing natural resources as part of his work. He participated in one of the first conservation tillage projects in California, which has proven to enhance soil, water and, especially, air quality in an area that typically experiences high air pollution levels. Not content to confine these successes to his own farm, Mr. Giacomazzi is a leader in communicating the benefits of conservation tillage to other dairy farmers. His communication methods are both new and traditional, utilizing social media channels and hosting demonstrations and field days at his farm to connect with those inside and outside of the agricultural community.

“Ever since I started thinking about conservation as a practice, I have been seeking a reward,” Mr. Giacomazzi said. “The reward of leaving this farm for my son in better condition than my father left it for me. It isn’t as much of a desire as an obligation since my father, grandfather and great-grandfather had done that for me. Conservation farming is really the only way I know how to do it … adapt to change, preserve the land, try to make money and move the family farm forward.”

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Dairy Cares is a statewide coalition supporting economic and environmental sustainability and responsible animal care. Our members include the Bank of the West, Bar 20 Dairy Farms, California Dairies Inc.,California Dairy Campaign, California Farm Bureau Federation, Conestoga-Rovers and Associates, Dairy Farmers of America-Western Area Council, Dairy Institute of California, Hilmar Cheese Co., HP Hood, Joseph Gallo Farms, Land O’Lakes, Milk Producers Council, Ruan Transport Corp., Western United Dairymen, and others. For information, visit our web site or call 916-441-3318.