San Benito Rancher Wins Stewardship Award
October 4, 2012
by Renata Brillinger
We are thrilled to announce that Joe Morris of Morris Grassfed Beef has been chosen as a recipient of the Clarence Burch Award, presented by the Quivira Coalition in New Mexico. The award recognizes individuals, organizations and others who have led by example in promoting and accomplishing outstanding stewardship of private and/or public lands. Joe is a farmer advisor to the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN).
Joe was a co-founder and remains active in the Central Coast Rangeland Coalition, a group of ranchers and organizations focused on ecologically and economically vibrant rangelands. “Joe is a real leader in engaging conservationists as well as ranchers to foster collaborative learning about rangeland stewardship,” says Grey Hayes, fellow Coalition member and the Coastal Training Director of the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. “He is willing to use the land he manages as an effective platform for learning how to manage for wildlife, economic vitality, and the happiness of our communities. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award in California.”
The award emphasizes not only leadership in land management but also in community education and collaboration. According to Steve Dorrance, a rancher near Salinas, California, “The landscape under his management is becoming more diverse in species, and a diversity of people have experienced Joe on his ranchland as well at community visioning meetings. Joe is a great teacher, and has an easy way of facilitating learning.”
Joe was nominated by CalCAN, and serving as CalCAN advisors, Joe and his wife Julie have played a key role in our effectiveness in advocating for resources for California ranchers to cope with climate change impacts.
“I am honored to be recognized by the Quivira Coalition for this year’s Clarence Burch award, and deeply appreciative to all of our partners for making this possible,” Joe Morris said. “Our work with fellow ranchers, environmentalists, and policymakers shows that land stewardship and consensus building can provide solutions to some of our most pressing challenges.”
Joe shares the award with Pati Martinson and Terrie Bad Hand, Co-Directors of the Taos County Economic Development Corporation in New Mexico. The 11th Annual Burch Award will be presented at a dinner ceremony on November 16, 2012, at the conclusion of the Quivira Coalition’s 11th annual conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. More information about the conference and the award is available here. To read the full nomination, click here: Morris_Nomination.pdf.