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Thursday, 11 August 2011 16:52

Swift Current region's Weedon Ranch TESA recipient for 2011

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Courtesy CCA                                                                   
Bryan and Glenys Weedon of the Weedon Ranch are the 2011 recipient of The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA).  A national award presented by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), TESA recognizes innovative sustainable management practices and stewardship initiatives that ensure a sustainable future for the beef cattle industry.


The Weedons received their award today during the annual TESA event held during the CCA semi-annual meeting and International Livestock Congress in Calgary.    
One of four Canadian farm families nominated for the 2011 award, the Weedons were selected as they exemplify the ability to work successfully within a unique eco system, said Lynn Grant, Chair of the CCA’s Environment Committee.
“The Weedons have adapted their management practices to work within a challenging ecosystem to benefit not only their operation but the surrounding habitat, ensuring other species dependant on a functioning grassland landscape continue to thrive,” he said.
Accepting the award, Brian Weedon said it was great honour to be recognized by his peers for doing something positive.
“This is a tremendous honour for us and a humbling experience all at the same time,” he said.
“Over the last 20 or 30 years, driving around our area in Western Canada, I think what we’re doing on our ranch at one time might have been considered the exception but I believe now it is the norm.”
Glenys Weedon said the award recognizes what has been Brian’s vision for the past 30 years.
“Brian has taken a very good sandhill ranch and he’s made it a great ranch,” she said.
The Weedon Ranch encompasses approximately 11,500 acres of native prairie range and 1,920 acres of tame grass in the dry brown soil zone of Saskatchewn. Located near Swift Current, the ranch is mostly in a sandhill ecosystem, making water and grass management a priority.
Black Angus is the breed of choice at the Weedons cow-calf/backgrounding operation, as the couple finds them best-suited for their management approach and the ecosystem they operate in.
As potable surface water is scarce, the Weedons are reliant on the ranch’s high water table, which is very potable. They have developed and implemented a watering system that is efficient and reliable and allows the ranch to utilize its grazing resources.
The surface water situation is remedied through the installation of shallow buried water pipelines, water stations, windmills and dugouts. The water facilities are strategically located for maximum range utilization and the dugouts act as a backup for the other systems.
Cross fencing to accommodate grazing strategies, including deferred grazing of all native pasture and switchback grazing, along with balanced stocking rates, have resulted in a healthier range.
The Weedons have hosted field days and educational tours examining management protocols on Canada’s rangelands, range plant identification, range assessment and biodiversity observations.
In 2003 Weedon Ranch was one of the first operations to meet the criteria to be enrolled in the Quality Starts Here/Verified Beef Production Program.
The CCA has recognized the outstanding efforts of innovative cattle producers with TESA since 1996.

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