Both received graduate degrees in soil science from CALS in 1983—Kim an MS, Dick a PhD. Dick Cates is founder and director of the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers and is a lecturer in the Department of Soil Science.
Cates Family Farm is a grass-fed beef enterprise near Spring Green in Iowa County. The farm includes 700 acres of managed grazing land and 200 acres of managed forest. They direct market their pasture-raised steers to grocery stores, restaurants, cafeterias and households around southern Wisconsin and the Chicago area.
Since 1987, the Cates have worked to make the family farm more environmentally sound and profitable. They adopted rotational grazing practices and created a managed grazing system included subdivision fencing and stream crossings for livestock. They encouraged the revitalization of a native oak savannah and care for Lowery Creek, a trout stream that runs through the grazing acreage.
“This is the proudest moment of my agricultural career,” Dick Cates said at the award presentation.
“The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is pleased to sponsor this important award and to recognize Dick and Kim Cates as this year’s recipients,” said Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President. “Cates Family Farm is an excellent representative of the farms across Wisconsin that care for land and natural resources through proper conservation.”
Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation.
The 2013 Leopold Conservation Award will be presented December 8 at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting in Wisconsin Dells. The award recipient will be presented with a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold and a check for $10,000.
The Leopold Conservation Award in Wisconsin is a trademarked program of Sand County Foundation and is made possible through the generous support of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Alliant Energy Foundation, American Transmission Company, Rural Mutual Insurance Company, UW-Extension, We Energies Foundation, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association.