Prather Ranch Receives Highest Environmental Honor

 Mary & Jim Rickert.  Photo by Paolo Vescia.

Mary & Jim Rickert. Photo by Paolo Vescia.

For the second time in a decade, Jim and Mary Rickert are returning home from Sacramento this week after receiving the state’s highest environmental honor, the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) for their business practices at Prather Ranch in five northern counties in California.

The GEELA recipients ranged from enterprise-level organizations to large public entities such as the Sacramento Water Forum, the City of Anaheim, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, and nine other non-profit and governmental organizations. Prather Ranch joined Stanford University as the only recipients from the private sector.

Prather Ranch was first awarded the GEELA award in 2004 under the office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Since then, Prather Ranch has continued to hone its agricultural and horticultural practices to continuously strengthen its responsible stewardship of hundreds of thousands of acres in Northern California.

Two months ago, Prather Ranch was recognized by the Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation, and Sustainable Conversation as a recipient of the 2015 California Leopold Conservation Award.

The event organizers immediately understood that the people of Redding have made a concerted effort to respond to the state’s historic drought and decided to take the event in a different direction to further the water conservation conversation.

Mary Rickert, owner of Prather Ranch, said “We are proud to win another one for the North State. So many business owners and ranchers in our area often go unrecognized for our hard work and attention to detail up here.”

For more information on the GEELA program and this year’s award recipients, please visitwww.calepa.ca.gov/Awards/GEELA/.