CANADA – Managing permanent pasture and wetland areas were reasons why an Ontario ranching couple received an environmental stewardship award.
Nominated by Lambton Cattlemen’s Association, Chad and Debbie Anderson received the 2015 Environmental Stewardship Award (TESAWARD) in Toronto in February.
The Andersons, of Mooregrove Farm in Mooretown, Ontario, farm 200 acres of permanent pasture and hay across a 350 acre cattle operation. They run 125 cows and 20 replacement heifers each year.
The Ontario Cattlemen’s Association said: “For over a decade, the Anderson's have demonstrated their commitment to the implementation of environmental improvements by increasing permanent pasture acres, establishing a designated wetland, installing structures and fencing to prevent contamination of surface water, adding grassed buffer strips along crop land, and planting trees as windbreaks.
“Grasslands provide tremendous environmental benefits from improving water infiltration, reducing erosion, carbon sequestration, all the way to encouraging a healthy wildlife and pollinator habitat," said Mr Anderson.
Chad and Debbie have accessed a number of programmes and enlisted the help of industry organizations to aid them in their management decisions and environmental improvements.
Working with the environment has improved the operation for both today and tomorrow, said Lambton Cattlemen’s Association President Ralph Eyre. He describe the Andersons as “committed” to sustainability and stewardship.
Utilizing these programs has allowed them to gain access to funding resources, knowledge and assistance. Most recently, the Anderson's undertook a perimeter and cross-fencing project through support of the Species at Risk Farm Incentive Program administered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association.
"The fencing improvements, coupled with the re-seeding of pasture to improve grassland forage quality, will strengthen the grassland production capacity, and provide the Anderson's with the opportunity to control grazing pressure at critical times of the year that are best suited to provide a nesting habitat for grassland bird species." said Andrew Graham, Director of Operations, Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association.
Further plans exist to improve the manure management approach, increase grassland acreages and look at options for producing grass-fed beef.
TheCattleSite News Desk