Environmental Winner

Stewardship Award Goes to Arizona Ranch

Victoria G Myers
By  Victoria G. Myers , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Jim O'Haco Cattle Company is the winner of this year's Environmental Stewardship Award. (Photo courtesy of ZimmComm New Media/NCBA)

PHOENIX, Ariz. (DTN) -- An Arizona ranch, established back in 1898, was recognized at this year's annual convention of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association in Phoenix, Arizona.

Jim O'Haco Cattle Company was one of six regional finalists in the national stewardship program. Others included Blue Lake Farm LLC, of South Carolina; SFI, Inc., of Iowa; Sterling Cattle Company of Texas; Flying Diamond Ranch of Colorado and Munson Angus Farms LLC of Kansas.

The O'Haco's commitment to stewardship goes back to Jim's grandfather, who first came to this country from the Basque Pyrenees in Europe. Jim is the third generation. With wife, Jeanni, the family has worked to build on the legacy and implement land management programs to help restore grazing areas and improve water infrastructure across the 60,000-acre operation.

"Two things in life that I've always wanted to do, and I think I have mostly accomplished them: Have quality cattle and help the environment," O'Haco said. "The job's not done; we can always improve. We learn from the past and keep on improving."

The Environmental Stewardship award was established in 1991 to recognize outstanding land stewards in the cattle industry. It is sponsored by federal agencies and companies that share in that vision. This year four sponsors, Dow AgroSciences, the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, McDonald's and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, partnered with NCBA in the program.

Craig Uden, NCBA outgoing president, said, "Caring for our natural resources is a shared ambition and point of pride among livestock producers. Jim is a true conservationist and partner of his community. His leadership is an example to us all."

Victoria Myers can be reached at vicki.myers@dtn.com

(ES/BAS)

Victoria Myers