TORONTO, Feb. 25 /CNW/ - The Ontario Cattlemen's Association (OCA) is
pleased to announce that Amos and Heidi Brielmann are the winners of this
year's Environmental Stewardship Award (TESAward), sponsored by RBC Royal Bank
and OCA. The Brielmanns operate a 1500 head cow/calf ranch near Pinewood,
Ontario, and were nominated for the award by Kim Jo Bliss, a fellow producer
in the Rainy River District. The Award was presented today at the 2009 OCA
Annual General Meeting by Sheila Smart of RBC Royal Bank.
Pine River Ranch (PRR) has a goal of making a profit with healthy cows,
healthy land and healthy family. The Brielmanns continue to make improvements
which not only benefit the environment but also the livestock they raise -
which should, in turn, increase productivity as well as profitability.
"Here in Rainy River we are truly lucky to have such an environmental
role model and steward," says Bliss. "Amos Brielmann, his wife Heidi and
children, Susanne and Timo have worked hard on their farm and are very
deserving of this award. They have undertaken numerous environmental
improvements. Not only have many been completed, but more are in progress, as
the family works to continuously improve their operation."
PRR operates approximately 2000 hectares of hay and pasture land,
breeding 600 Angus/Angus Cross beef cows - wintering all calves and grazing
them the following year. Examples of environmental projects undertaken include
fenced off waterways and installation of solar pumps (a real challenge was to
provide fresh water for up to 600 calves, even when it is -40 degrees C).
"The family and staff at Pine River Ranch have been the active force
behind achieving the goals we have set out for ourselves," says Brielmann. "We
have also been fortunate enough to have support from the Ontario Soil and Crop
Improvement Association, The Rainy River Soil and Crop Improvement
Association, The Rainy River First Nation's Watershed Program, The Ontario
Ministry of Natural Resources, The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and
Rural Affairs, and The Green Cover Canada Plan."
The Brielmanns have created riparian areas over 12 kilometers and
expanded their wintering lots from seven hectares to 43 hectares, which in
turn has reduced the animal density to less than five animal units per
hectare. Over 15,000 trees have been planted on the Ranch. The Low Water
Cattle Crossings that have been installed are very impressive. One of PRRs
major improvements - installing the solar watering system - has proven to be
very beneficial to the Rainy River District. Since the Brielmanns started the
remote watering systems, there was a strong acceptance from the larger farmer
community. These systems have provided many others with the tools to be able
to fence off creeks, rivers and dugouts.
PRR has also been helping other farmers to design solar-powered winter
watering systems. These systems have given others the option to feed cows
during the winter months away from the conventional barnyard. This practice is
reducing the manure loads in the farm yards during the winter and in the
spring with runoffs.
The Brielmanns will go on to represent Ontario at the National
Environmental Stewardship Award competition to be held the week of
August 9, in Regina, Saskatchewan.
TESAward recognizes the outstanding environmental stewardship of an
Ontario cattleman. Special consideration is given to producers who have taken
innovative approaches to environmentally sustainable cattle production. The
deadline for applications for the 2010 Environmental Stewardship Award is
November 27, 2009. For details visit the OCA Web site at
www.cattle.guelph.on.ca after February 15th.
For further information:
For further information: Lianne Appleby, Ontario Cattlemen's
Association: (519) 824-0334; Amos and Heidi Brielmann, TESA Winners: (807)
483-7717; Sheila Smart, RBC Royal Bank: (519) 376-2441