on March 3 | in Ag News | by | with No Comments

From a Release

The Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) is pleased to announce that Chad and Debbie Anderson, owners of Mooregrove Farms in Mooretown, Ontario, are the 2015 winners of The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESAward), sponsored by the RBC Royal Bank. The Anderson’s were nominated by the Lambton Cattlemen’s Association, and the Award was presented to the couple at the Beef
Farmers of Ontario Annual General Meeting, February 18 in Toronto.

Mooregrove Farms, a fifth generation operation, consists of 350 acres of which 200 acres are in permanent hay and pasture. Using a rotational grazing system with exceptional pasture management, Mooregrove Farms pastures a herd of 125 cows along with breeding 20 replacement heifers each year. 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,” says Chad. “Over time we have really come to value the knowledge and support of everyone who has helped us find solutions to different problems, and who have provided some wonderful guidance along the way.”

Chad and Debbie have accessed a number of programs and enlisted the help of industry organizations to aid them in their management decisions and environmental improvements.

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.” shares Andrew Graham, Director of Operations, Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement

In the future, the Anderson’s would like to investigate a better approach to manure management, look at ways to increase permanent grassland acreages within their farm properties, and consider the option of producing grass-fed beef.

“Being an environmental advocate and using conventional farming practices in new ways to improve their operation not only for today, but for future generations proves that the Anderson’s are committed to environmental sustainability and conservation,” says Ralph Eyre, President of the Lambton Cattlemen’s Association.

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