Living in harmony with the natural environment has earned a Calgary area ranch family the Alberta Cattle Commission's (ACC) highest award for stewardship. Alvin and Ann Kumlin of the Lazy J Ranch are the recipients of the 2001 Environmental Stewardship Award (ESA).
Five generations of the Kumlin family have ranched along the Jumping Pound Creek west of Calgary. This important waterway flows into the Bow River and is essential not only to cattle production, but also to fish and other species dependent on the riparian area. Sixty per cent of the trout spawning in the Jumping Pound Creek takes place within the Kumlin's ranch property.
The Kumlin's have protected the Jumping Pound by managing cattle access through the use of electric fencing and working with Trout Unlimited Canada to wrap trees to prevent damage from beavers. They also use portable feeders in the winter to continually move cattle, thus preventing manure build up and keeping it from entering waterways. These progressive producers keep their stocking rates modest to maintain a healthy grass stand through good and bad moisture years.
This family is also involved in organizations that promote the future of agriculture including Action for Agriculture, the Foothills Forage Co-op Association, and the Municipal District of Rocky View.
The Kumlin's host tour groups sharing their knowledge and strategies for maintaining the environment while operating a successful cattle operation.
The goal for these proactive ranchers is to leave healthy rangeland, a clean water supply and better cattle for the next generation to operate the ranch.
The ACC is proud to present the Year 2001 Environmental Stewardship award to Alvin and Ann Kumlin. Representatives from conservation and agriculture formed the judging committee. The judges examined the stewardship goals and activities of the nominees including accomplishments in land management, water quality, wildlife, animal welfare and leadership activities in the community.