Durham Region Beef Farmer Wins 2010 Ontario Pasture Award

TORONTO, Feb. 24 /CNW/ - The sponsors of the Ontario Pasture Award - the Ontario Cattlemen's Association (OCA), MAPLESEED and the Ontario Forage Council (OFC) - are pleased to announce that Ryan Nesbitt of Cedardale Farms, near Nestleton in Durham Region, is the winner of the 2010 Pasture Award. The award was presented today at the OCA Annual General Meeting, in Toronto. For his environmental and pasture improvements and pasture management, Nesbitt receives a cash award of $750 and a bag of forage seed plus a complimentary hotel room for one night at the OCA Annual Meeting.

Ryan, Trevor and Scott Nesbitt operate Cedardale Farms which comprises 1500 acres. Ryan takes the lead role in the pasture part of the operation and grazes 150 cow/calf pairs and about 20 bred-heifers on 280 acres. The cows are in groups and are rotationally-grazed on three different farm locations. Ryan is a strong believer in intensive rotational systems with most pasture paddocks consisting of about 10 acres. Water is piped to each paddock through an above-ground water line that runs throughout the entire pasture. When the herd is moved to a new paddock, the water trough is moved with them.

Nesbitt comments that, "through intensive management, of our pastures, we are able to reduce our stored feed and labour requirements. We have also found that we are able to improve our herd health by removing them from traditional confinement housing. All of the factors lend to the philosophy of a lower cost of production in maintaining our cow herd, which in turn helps the bottom line of our family farm".

Gerritt Van Keulen, Sales Manager with MAPLESEED, remarks that the pasture management program being utilized on Cedardale Farms is a model that not only makes greater use of pasture resources but is also another good example of positive environmental practices.

Ray Robertson, Manager of the Ontario Forage Council, says "that as producers try to cope with the challenging times, the practical techniques being followed on Cedardale Farms are a great example that can help to maximize the net returns for a number of producers".

     The deadline for applications for the 2011 Ontario Pasture Award
                            is November 30, 2010.

        For details, call the Ontario Forage Council at 1-877-892-8663 or
             visit either the Ontario Forage Council's Website at
     www.ontarioforagecouncil.com or the Ontario Cattlemen's Association
           Website at www.cattle.guelph.on.ca, after March 5, 2010.

SOURCE Ontario Cattlemen's Association

For further information: For further information: Ryan Nesbitt, Cedardale Farms: (905) 986-4608; Ray Robertson, Ontario Forage Council: 1-877-892-8663; Gerrit Van Keulen, MAPLESEED: (519) 281-0032

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