AgNext Industry Innovation Group Members Pushing Conservation Boundaries

A canyon filled with green grass.
Two cattlemen walk through a herd of red angus cows.

The AgNext Industry Innovation Group is made up of trailblazing industry partners who lead in pushing boundaries of sustainability and conservation. Recently, Steven Wooten and Robbie LeValley were honored for their efforts and contributions in the industry.

Robbie LeValley was awarded the 2021 Public Lands Council President’s Award on September 29, 2021. LeValley is a fourth-generation rancher from Delta, Colorado and has served the industry for many years through her time with Colorado Cattlemen’s Association as well as her modern conservation efforts.

LeValley has actively worked to improve public lands in Western Colorado through efforts to revitalize the habitat for Gunnison Sage Grouse. She has also worked to improve the management of grazing livestock on public land and used scientific approaches to improve land stewardship. Her conservation efforts are just a small portion of the many contributions that LeValley has made to the public lands ranching community. LeValley is also the co-owner of Homestead Meats, a local processing plant which has improved the economic and social sustainability of her operation and many others in the community.

On August 10 2021, Steve and Joyce Wooten, along with Brady and Arin Burnham of Beatty Canyon Ranch were honored with the Environmental Stewardship Award at the 2021 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Cattle Industry Convention. This honor comes only a short three years after Beatty Canyon Ranch was recognized as the Colorado Leopold Conservation Award Winner in 2018.

Steve Wooten and his family’s operation have been recognized for their efforts of conserving the Southeastern Colorado landscape and wildlife. Wooten’s grazing efforts and management of invasive species along with their wildlife and natural resource management have improved the sustainability of their ranch and the ecosystems they interact with. Wooten’s management of invasive tamarisk along the Purgatoire and Chacuaco rivers, which run through Beatty Canyon Ranch, have increased vegetation cover and stability of the riverbanks. The family has also diligently managed the largest herd of rocky mountain big horn sheep in Colorado which was introduced to the ranch in 2002. Wooten’s stewardship and management objectives for the operation have ensured that their ranch will be sustainable for many generations to come.

AgNext strives to collaborate with driving forces like Robbie LeValley and Steve Wooten to continue advancing the sciences of livestock systems and ensure a safe, secure, and nutritious food supply. 

Congratulations Steve Wooten and Robbie LeValley on your immense achievements.