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National Environmental Stewardship Award Presented to Texas Ranch

WASHINGTON (April 18, 2024) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) announced today that G Bar C Ranch, in Rosston, Texas, is the 2023 National Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) winner. The award, which annually recognizes the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of cattle producers, was presented to the Ellis family during NCBA’s annual Spring Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

“For our operation, this is a lifetime achievement award, and this is a moment I will remember for the rest of my life,” said Meredith Ellis of G Bar C Ranch. “It took me going far away to college and coming home to realize just how special ranching is and how I want to be just like my greatest mentor, my father.”

G Bar C Ranch, located north of Dallas, continues to improve ranching practices in ways that nurture the environment while remaining economically sustainable. The Ellis’ see themselves as caretakers of the land, maintaining biodiversity, natural habitat and clean waterways. There have been more than 500 species of plants, animals and insects found thriving on the ranch alongside grazing cattle.

“Stewardship means that I am a shepherd and must take care of all the living things that call this place home,” said Ellis. “No animal, plant or insect is too insignificant for consideration.”

G Bar C Ranch implements an adaptive multi-paddock strategy that rotates cattle through 58 permanently fenced pastures. Wheat Creek runs through the ranch and eventually feeds into the Trinity River, which is a water source responsible for half of Texans’ water needs. The Ellis family grazes in a manner that keeps the vegetative filters and sponges working effectively and prevents erosion, keeping water clear and pure. The family also strives to keep carbon stored in the soil by minimizing disturbance. The ranch is a living laboratory and opens its gates to researchers from organizations, universities and other institutions. Some of the research has found that G Bar C Ranch is sequestering 2,500 tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to taking 551 cars off the road every year.

“It is because of cattle that our grazing lands are as abundant and full of life as they are,” said Ellis. “Whenever I share my story, I think of my son, and know that it’s not about me, but it’s about his future and what it is going to look like.”

Established in 1991, ESAP identifies outstanding land stewards in the cattle industry. Each year, regional award winners are recognized with one being honored as the national winner.

“Cattle producers across the country are committed to being good stewards of natural resources,” said NCBA President Mark Eisele. “G Bar C Ranch is an exceptional example of the dedication required to share the land with future generations.”

2023 Regional Winners:

Region I: Tuck Farms, Moneta, Virginia
Region II: JB Ranch, Immokalee, Florida
Region IV: G Bar C Ranch, Rosston, Texas
Region V: Tower Rock Ranch, LLC, Mansfield, Washington
Region VI: Hart Ranch, Montague, California
Region VII: Bartholomay Kattle Kompany, Sheldon, North Dakota

Previous National ESAP Honorees:

2022: Carter Cattle Company, LLC, Alabama
2021: JY Ferry & Son, Inc., Utah
2020: Beatty Canyon Ranch, Colorado
2019: Blackbeard’s Ranch, Florida
2018: Thunder View Farms, New York

ESAP is generously sponsored by companies and federal agencies who share the cattle industry’s commitment to caring for the environment and protecting natural resources. Sponsors including U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Corteva Agriscience, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partner with NCBA to promote environmental stewardship throughout the beef supply chain. For more information, visit www.environmentalstewardship.org.

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