By Mark Sponsler Colorado Corn Executive Director
Our farmers are often deservedly recognized as hard-working producers - appreciated for putting food on the table for people around the world.
But left out of the discussion too often are the pioneering, exhaustive efforts so many of our growers are putting forth to also protect the environment around us.
We're hoping a new Colorado Corn program can help change that, as we're seeking applications for our first ever Colorado Farm Stewardship Award.
It will no doubt be a difficult task to select just one winner, when we know so many Colorado farmers are putting extensive time and energy into being excellent stewards of our resources, while also producing our food, fuel and fiber.
But while it won't be easy, we couldn't be more excited about this new award.
So many Colorado farmers - perhaps your neighbors - are implementing some of the latest-and-greatest production methods, aimed at improving efficiency and enhancing our air, soil and water quality.
We feel this award will provide a platform for many growers to finally share their stories - shining a light on the numerous, forward-thinking, best-management practices taking place on Colorado's farms.
And it's absolutely vital that these stories be told, whether the audience is general-public consumers, the media, or those who are creating and implementing environmental regulations that farmers must comply with.
The Colorado Farm Stewardship Award winner will be selected by a committee comprised of board member representatives from the Colorado Corn Administrative Committee (CCAC) and Colorado Corn Growers Association (CCGA), as well as other experts in agriculture, conservation and sustainability.
The winner will be announced during the Colorado Corn Annual Banquet in Yuma on Dec. 7, and in addition to the awards banquet recognition, this farmer will be recognized in Colorado Corn's communications and outreach efforts.
The winner will also receive our organization's nomination for the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Good Steward Recognition - a national honor that includes a $10,000 cash award for the winner, among other prizes.
Applicants must be CCGA members in good standing, implement conservation-tillage methods, and demonstrate practices related to soil, water or air stewardship.
For more information, or to find an application, please go to www.coloradocorn.com.
Applications are due Nov. 18, and I hope to hear from many of you by that time, as I know so many have a story that needs to be told.