Soil Award

Soil and Land Management Award

Applications for the 2022-2023 edition of the Soil Award are now OPEN!

The Award

Sustainable land and soil management is central to improve our food systems, maintain a healthy environment and ensure European rural development. Indeed, soils, through their structure and the great variety of species they host, perform numerous functions including food production, nutrient and water storage, filtering, buffering as well as breaking down and conserving organic matter. They also play a central role in the protection of water and in the natural exchange of gases with the atmosphere. Moreover, soils are biological habitats, gene pools, elements of landscapes and of cultural heritage as well as providers of raw materials. They are therefore crucial for agriculture and for all human beings as well as for nature itself, and are the foundation of our health and our wealth. Soils are as such part of Europe’s greatest treasures, thus, it is important to promote and reward practices which contribute to their protection.

The prize rewards land use and soil management practices mitigating soil threats with the aim of encouraging new concepts of land and soil protection and their implementation in land management, as well as enhancing awareness about the importance of land and soil functions.

Who can apply

Farmers, landowners, land managers, groups of farmers, on their own or in collaboration with research institutes, universities and/or private companies. The call is open for applicants from all European countries.


Members of the Jury :

Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Dr.h.c.mult. Martin H. GERZABEK – President of the Jury


Emeritus Prof., Dr. Franc LOBNIK




Why apply

To recognize the great value of the farmer’s work, by promoting the winning project as a good practice at the European level. Also, to enhance the visibility of such ways of farming at the local, national as well as European scale and to encourage farmers to further develop their work in a sustainable path.
5 000 € is awarded to the winning project every year. The Jury can also award a Diploma of Recognition.

How to apply

The call for application is open! To apply please send the filled-out application form before January 15, 2023 at the latest.The award is bestowed to the winner every year during the Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA) Gala Dinner.Please note: the application should preferably be filled out in English. If the applicant chooses another language, a well-structured English summary of the project should be enclosed.
Submit your project via e-mail to the Award Coordinator at [email protected] and share your success!

Deadline: January 15, 2023.
Download the Application Form from this page.

 For more information please contact
Emmanuelle Mikosz, Award Coordinator at [email protected]
or visit


This award was launched in 2008 by the European Landowners’ Organization (ELO), under the auspices of the European Commission (DG Environment and the Joint Research Centre) and in association with the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) of Vienna, Syngenta International AG, as well as the Centre for Soil and Environmental Sciences of the Ljubljana University. 

Geographical  Institute,Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth  Sciences from Hungary : Winner of the Soil Award 2021/2022
With the project “Improving soil aggregation for soil protection, soil improvement, proper water management, carbon storage and food safety”.

More information about the Institute here ➡️

 The Jury awarded also two Diploma of Recognition (in alphabetical order):
– Gut&Bösel for “Keyline Agroforestry” (Germany) project
More information:

– Lo Biais al Maset, Chemin du séminaire du Roc, Albi (France) with the project “Fight against the erosion of soils and preservation of agricultural biodiversity through the implementation of adapted and innovative practices by a pedagogical   approach and sustainability of the actions”
 More information: 
Congratulations to the winners!

Černelič Biodynamic Farming : Winner of the Soil Award 2020/2021 

Soil award winner 2021

Černelič Biodynamic Farming from 🇸🇮Slovenia with the project “Improving soil biodiversity and humus content for better soil fertility and climate”

More info about the Biodynamic Farm Černelič here ➡️

Watch the video about Biodynamic Farm Černelič here ⬇️ 

ORTO 2.0 Project : Winner of the Soil Award 2019/2020 

For 2020, under the presidency of prof. Martin GERZABEK, the Jury unanimously chose ‘ORTO 2.0’, a project submitted by a cooperative in Italy, as the winner. It is a very innovative and fascinating initiative, which has high potential to foster soil awareness in big cities. It provides a cultivation service through an App for mobile devices – today about 70 users in Rome already manage their own patch through this mobile tool.

In addition, the Jury attributed the ‘Diploma of Recognition’ to the project “A research and
demonstration agroforestry experimental site in Ramecourt (Northern France)”, submitted by
Antoine DEQUIDT aiming to set up the first experimental agroforestry site to show and to study its agro-economic and environmental performance in local agro-pedoclimatic conditions.
The announcement of the award winner took place on March 31 via Social media. On behalf of the winner, Lorenzo ARTIBANI noted that “Orto 2.0” is an Agricultural Cooperative whose vision is to guarantee everyone food sovereignty and a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle, in the attempt of preserving the health of our precious soil and re-establishing local biodiversity.

“GROW Observatory” project: winner of the Soil Award 2018/19



Under the auspices of the European Commission (DG Environment and the Joint Research Centre), in association with BOKU and Ljubljana Universities and Syngenta, the ELO awarded the prize to  “GROW Observatory”, a project submitted by theUK, but based on an EU project including the cooperation of 18 institutions in Austria, Italy, UK, Spain, Greece, Belgium and Hungary. The Jury, under the presidency of prof. Martin GERZABEK, ranked this project first not only thanks to its innovative concept of the citizen science approach, but also because it deals with soil moisture as being one of the most important production factors in agriculture. The data, mainly soil moisture data, are collected by a large number of farmers, and so makes the project a highly innovative citizen science project and an educational project for the agricultural sector. It further aims to demonstrate that a Citizens’ Observatory can deliver widespread uptake, robust science, societal impact, and be sustainable.

In addition, the Jury awarded a special recognition for Breakthrough in Soil Technology to John Deere company for the “Precision Nutrient Management by near-infrared spectroscopy” project as a completely new technology for managing the nutrient cycle more sustainably and to improve the efficiency of the use of manure fertiliser. 

For additional information on the Land and Soil Management Award please consult our website:

For more information please contact the Award Coordinator:

Emmanuelle Mikosz
[email protected]