OTTAWA Dairy farmers keen on being green have a shot at a $2,000 national accolade.
The dairy farm sustainability award is given to a farmer who strives for sustainable natural resource use and animal care and whose management practices go beyond regulatory requirements.
The winner earns $2,000 and a trip to Dairy Farmers of Canadas annual general meeting in Vancouver in July. Runners-up score $1,000 each.
To be eligible, farms must be registered on CQM, hold quota, and have an up-to-date Environmental Farm Plan developed in the last five years.
Farms will be evaluated on environmental sustainability, such as measurable improvements in water quality or conservation, soil health, energy use, waste reduction, biodiversity, or greenhouse gas reductions; financial viability of environmental practices; social impacts, such as animal health or food and workplace safety; and leadership, such as working with researchers, and how easily practices can be adopted on other farms.
Last years winners were Korb and Kelly Whale and his parents, Bruce and Deborah, who run Clovermead Farms near Alma, north of Guelph. The Whales set aside 10 per cent of their land for wildlife habitat and forest, planted 50,000 trees in the last 40 years, and installed an anaerobic digester, which turns cow manure into electricity, bedding thats boosted milk production by one kilogram per day, and fertilizer thats free of weed seeds, pathogens, and odour.
A farmer may tap him or herself for the award or be nominated.
Applications are due March 6 and must include two letters of recommendation.
To download a nomination form, visit www.dairyfarmers.ca/what-we-do/programs and click on dairy farm sustainability award under the environment and sustainable development menu on the right-hand side of the page.
For more information, e-mail Karen Clark at email@example.com.