Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co., Point Reyes Station, Calif., was named the recipient of the 2013 California Leopold Conservation Award last week. The annual award is given jointly by the Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation. The award honors private landowner achievement in the voluntary stewardship and management of natural resources.

“We are humbled and honored to receive this award,” said Lynn Giacomini Stray, managing partner. “To be recognized for our ongoing sustainable commitments, which have always been at the core of our farming values, is especially rewarding for my family. Over the last decade we have strengthened our use of technology and innovative practices to grow our company from fluid milk to artisan cheese to agri-tourism. To put it simply, land stewardship has always been and will continue to be, the very foundation of our business.”

Launched in 2000 by Bob and Dean Giacomini and their four daughters, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. hand-crafts all-natural, award-winning cheese on their family farm, founded in 1959. Produced in small batches, Original Blue, Toma, Bay Blue and Fresh Mozzarella are distributed nationally and available at specialty grocers and independent cheese retailers.

“The Giacomini family is a shining example of how landowners in California can have a huge impact on healthy landscapes, clean waterways and a clean-energy future,” said Ashley Boren, executive director of Sustainable Conservation. “Rotational grazing of their cows keeps soils healthy and helps prevent harmful erosion into Tomales Bay and the Point Reyes National Seashore, and their methane digester converts cow manure into clean, renewable energy that powers their dairy and cheese facility.”

California Farm Bureau President Paul Wenger said, “Responsible care for our land and other natural resources has allowed California farmers and ranchers to sustainably produce the food and farm products we all depend upon. The Leopold Conservation Award recognizes outstanding examples of the stewardship that family farmers and ranchers perform every day.”

The 2013 California Leopold Conservation Award will be presented December 9 at the California Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting in Monterey, Calif. Each finalist will be recognized at the event, and the award recipient will be presented with a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold and a check for $10,000. The California Leopold Conservation Award is made possible thanks to contributions from many organizations, including The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and American Ag Credit. For more information, visit www.leopoldconservationaward.org.

About the Leopold Conservation Award
The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. Sand County Foundation presents Leopold Conservation Awards in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

SOURCE: Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. and Sand County Foundation