All beef cattle operations in Canada are eligible to apply for The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA). Beef producers interested in TESA can apply by filling out the application form found on this page.
Producers can either nominate themselves, another individual or be nominated by an organization. All methods are equally encouraged.
To download the TESA application form click here.
2017 provincial environmental stewardship award recipients
Exceptional management practices used by beef producers to achieve sustainable production goals on their farms and ranches deserve recognition through environmental stewardship awards. In August, one provincial award recipient will be recognized at the national level with the CCA’s The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) during the CCA’s 2017 semi-annual meeting at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) in Calgary. Of course, TESA has been recognizing stewardship since 1996 and our archives contain more examples of notable efforts.
British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association 2017 Ranch Sustainability Award - Recipients Trevor and Janice Tapp of Copper-T Ranch.
Copper-T Ranch was selected for the award because of the Tapps exceptional commitment to stewardship and sustainability, demonstrated through their efforts to protect water quality and develop a future plan for their ranch. Located west of the Village of Fraser Lake, water quality is very important because two creeks, Perry and Stern, flow through Copper-T Ranch into Fraser Lake and part of the ranch is situated along approximately 1,500 feet of shoreline. Since the community draws their water supply from the lake and it is a high use recreation area, the Tapps wanted to do whatever they could to protect the water quality. With the goal of keeping the water clean and having healthy riparian areas and streambanks, they invested heavily in restricting cattle access to all water sources on the ranch and completed three riparian projects. “It has always been important to us to treat the land with respect. It is a really deep need to make sure that we are good stewards of the land...that the water sources that we have are protected,” said Janice Tapp.
Fencing keeps cattle out of the creeks at Copper-T Ranch
Solar powered water system at Copper-T Ranch
Alberta Beef Producers 2017 Environmental Stewardship Award - Recipient is Tom Thompson and Winding Creek Ranch.
Winding Creek Ranch is a cow-calf operation that rotationally grazes 500 acres, with 700 acres of hay crops.Thompson credits the West-Central Forage Association for playing a large role in changing the focus and management practices on the ranch. Frustrated with some outcomes, Thompson attended a seminar on matching production cycles with grazing cycles and began to make significant improvements to his operation. After incorporating changes to his winter grazing, watering systems and power fencing for rotational grazing, he completed an Environmental Farm Plan. “When the forage and the grass are growing, and the animals are happy… you will be profitable and sustainable. My stewardship goals are to keep the animals and the plants healthy, growing and viable,” said Thompson.
Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association 2017 Environmental Stewardship Award - Recipient is Mark and Laura Hoimyr and family, Box H Land & Livestock.
Extending the grazing season sustainably, and improving soil health are two priorities at Box H Land & Livestock. Based in the brown soil zone in southern Saskatchewan, the ranch is situated on the southwest boundary of the Missouri Coteau landscape, in the Gladmar area. The ranch is primarily a livestock operation made up of native mixed grass prairie, tame forages, and annual cropland that is planted to forages. This family run operation involves Mark and Laura’s two children Anna & Jeremy, and Mark’s parents. They have been working at extending their grazing season to reduce wintering costs. With careful planning, they have managed to convert much of the marginal farmland to perennial forages, which has helped conserve soil, and build up organic matter for improving water infiltration and soil productivity. They have developed buried waterlines, implemented rotational grazing systems, cross fences and alternative wintering systems. They are big proponents of improving soil health, and continuously are adapting new practices for soil health like planting annual cover crops and grass management to extend grazing. Box H Land & Livestock completed the Environmental Farm Plan, and has worked with numerous groups to complete projects that improve both the environment and their ranching operation, as well as Ducks Unlimited Canada and Water Security Agency on various projects in the area.
Manitoba Beef Producers’ 2017 The Environmental Sustainability Award - Recipient is Nerbas Bros. Angus.
This family beef farm is primarily a cow-calf based operation that also markets breeding stock. Their focus has been to produce cattle that can thrive in a forage based environment. Operating under holistic management principles for the past 12 years, they rely on the nutrient cycling through the animal and intensive grazing to maximize their grass production. Rotational grazing, off site watering system, bale grazing, seeding of extra pasture, and extended grazing are other practices used. To deal with continuous flooding on their land along the Assiniboine River, they adapted the land for grazing salvage and coarse hay production when conditions allow, finding it the best option for the land and their operation with respect to erosion, leaching, and riverbank stability. They’ve completed an Environmental Farm Plan Program and work with their local Conservation District, Lake of the Prairies, on projects such as off-site watering, riparian fencing and forage establishment.
Beef Farmers of Ontario’s 2017 The Environmental Stewardship Award - Recipient is Chris Knight and family and his brother Carl, owners of Clear Creek Farms.
The family-run cow-calf to finish beef operation’s environmental management begins with their intensive rotational grazing system. The continual movement of cattle on their farm allows for their pastures to recover. Clover, trefoil and alfalfa have time to reach the flowering stage, which provides a food source for wild bees and other pollinators, and nesting areas for grassland birds. Rotational grazing also increases the soil organic matter, which is important for the sandy soils that lie beneath. The family has implemented conservation and stewardship projects to improve the soil health of the farm through cost-sharing efforts with organizations such as the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, and Ducks Unlimited including building a wetland complex, planted trees, fenced buffer strips on creek banks to control erosion and planted tall prairie grasses to improve their soil health.
Prince Edward Island Cattle Producers, on behalf of the Maritime Beef Council, 2017 Gilbert R. Clements Award - Recipient David and Brett Francis, The David Francis Farm, Lady Fane, PEI
David and Vicki Francis along with their 5 children have been farming for 36 years on their seventh-generation farm in Lady Fane, Prince Edward Island. The family farm has been designated as a Century Farm, tracing its beginnings back to 1844. Their son Brett recently joined the successful potato and beef operation.
Today, the farm consists of an 80 cow/calf beef operation and 475 acres of Elite seed potatoes and potatoes for Frito Lay potato chips. They also grow barley, oats, corn and hay for rotational crops.
PEI has extremely sandy soil and is very susceptible to soil erosion. Sudden rainfall events can have devastating effects on farmland and can cause soil erosion resulting in washouts or runoff. Soil conservation is a primary concern on the Francis farm. They assessed the holdings for environmental risks and challenges and in 1991 became one of the first farms in PEI to install an integrated soil conservation system.
Grassed waterways and buffer zones, are natural filters that help slow down and filter runoff before it leaves the field. Terraces and berms allow production to occur on gradually sloped land by reducing the length of uninterrupted furrow. These measures reduce soil erosion and help safeguard the health of the adjacent streams and wetlands.
Through the PEI Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) program, they have retired 35 acres of high slope land and have 1.5 acres of voluntary expanded buffer zones above and beyond the regulated 15 meters.
In addition to the fencing from streams and waterways, the Francis’ have made major investments in fencing for a rotational grazing system on 120 acres of pasture. They are seeing positive results in weight gain and herd health for their animals since they incorporated rotational grazing.