ST. JOHN'S, July 19, 2012 /CNW/ - Yesterday, DFC President Wally Smith and Lely Canada General Manager Jerry Claessens presented the Dairy Farm Sustainability Award to Anita Grenier and Rock Simard, of Ferme M. Grenier et fils. This couple farms with their two sons Benoit and Alain in the Eastern Townships (Quebec).
"Farms of all sizes and of various areas of our great country can make small, incremental improvements, which add up to a more sustainable industry," said Mr. Wally Smith. "The four finalists have seen a net gain from implementing best environmental practices on their farms." The award recognizes farmers who demonstrate particular care for the environment and go beyond the widespread environmentally-friendly industry practices.
"Lely has always taken care to make our products durable and energy-efficient," said Mr. Claessens. "As we learn more about the environmental footprint of agriculture, we invest in innovating and helping farmers work with nature to produce more with less. Most of all, we are proud to recognize and celebrate farmers who contribute to sustainability in the dairy industry."
"It is an honour to accept this award," said Anita Grenier. "On our farm, it is important to explore new and better agricultural practices, and we work a lot with our local agro environmental club. The need to reduce soil erosion on hilly fields drove our pursuit of environmental stewardship. Trials and discussions with other farmers and agronomists help us improve our own practices. As farmers, we never stop learning."
The selection committee of nine sustainability experts was particularly impressed with how the winning farm readily tested new practices that are innovative and cost-saving, and how the farmers aimed to lighten the footprint on the environment by re-using and re-fitting existing buildings or materials. Ferme M. Grenier et fils, in the Eastern Townships, covers an area of 150 hectares and milks 90 cows. The total herd is of 150 pure-bred Holsteins.
The other three finalists - Lakeside Dairy (Alberta), Sunholm Farms (Ontario), Charles Hill & Son (Nova Scotia) - will also receive a trophy and a prize $1,000 at their respective provincial Annual General Meeting in the coming months.
Assistant Director, Strategic Communications
Dairy Farmers of Canada