NCBA names 30th stewardship winner

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Western ranchers moving cattle on horseback

The National Cattlemen’s Foundation and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) recently named Beatty Canyon Ranch of Kim, Colorado, as the national winner of the 30th annual Environmental Stewardship Award. Steve and Joy Wooten operate the ranch with their daughter and son-in-law Arin and Brady Burnham. 

Corteva Agriscience sponsors the award program with McDonald’s Corporation; the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

About 40 miles southwest of La Junta, Colorado, Beatty Canyon Ranch includes the home ranch and two leased ranches to total 125,000 acres with a carrying capacity of 1,330 cows under favorable conditions. Beatty Canyon Ranch has set aside nearly 14,000 acres in an easement to preserve wildlife habitat.

To improve grazing distribution in the rough country, Beatty Canyon Ranch installed 25 miles of pipeline serving 34 stock tanks and cost-shared $500,000 in fencing, corrals and water development on leased ranches. Beatty Canyon Ranch strategically removed invasive juniper from 3,000 acres to reclaim grassland and removed invasive tamarisk to restore riparian areas. Since 1982, its 17-head bighorn sheep population has grown to 500.


NCBA and its foundation initially named Beatty Canyon Ranch as 1 of 7 regional winners. The ranch represented NCBA’s Region V, comprised by Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado.

Winners are selected by a panel including experts from conservation groups, university faculty and federal and state agencies. The program recognizes cattle raisers whose conservation practices are inventive and cost-effective. Winners serve as spokespersons for the industry.

Other regional winners this year included SK Herefords, Medina, New York; Southern Cross Farm, Eupora, Mississippi; Euken-Myers, Lewis, Iowa; Double C Cattle Company, Springer, Oklahoma; Boies Ranch, Wells, Nevada; and Johnson Farms, Frankfort, South Dakota.

For more information on the Environmental Stewardship Award Program, go to or call Jill DeLucero of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association at 303-850-3321.

To learn more about all the winners, go to and click on Winner Gallery. Then you can select to view information and photos by winner or year.



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