Arizona Ranchers Earn National Environmental Stewardship Award

Jim O'Haco accepts his ranching operation's national recognition as winner of the 2017 Environmental Stewardship Award Program.
( Photo: NCBA via ZimmComm New Media

An eastern Arizona ranch family that has invested heavily in water infrastructure and restoration of grazing land across 60,000 acres has won the 2017 Environmental Stewardship Award Program. The Jim O’Haco Cattle Company of Winslow received formal recognition Jan. 31 during the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s 2018 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Phoenix, according to a news release.

“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,” Jim O’Haco says. “The job’s not done. We can always improve. We learn from our past and keep on improving.”

Among other investments, the ranch team installed the High Point Well over the course of a decade, connecting it to the entire operation through 42 miles of below-ground pipeline. The efforts have improved grazing land, benefited wildlife habitat and built wildlife numbers. The ranchers also have worked to curtail encroaching invasive juniper and other brush.

The operation collaborates with local entities as well as state and national ones such as the Arizona Game & Fish Department and the U.S. Forest Service.

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

Award sponsors are Dow AgroSciencesUSDA’s Natural Resources Conservation ServiceMcDonald’s and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They work in partnership with the National Cattlemen’s Foundation to advance environmental stewardship across the beef industry.