Operating a cattle operation in harmony with the environment has earned a Northern Alberta rancher the Alberta Beef Producers' (ABP) highest award for stewardship. Luc Tellier and family of the Bar LD Ranch are recipients of the 2006 ABP Environmental Stewardship Award (ESA). The Telliers were selected for their excellent stewardship of sensitive pasture, farm land and wooded areas on their ranch in the rolling hills near Bonnyville, Alberta (200 km northeast of Edmonton).
Sandy and rocky soil conditions can make the ranch prone to erosion. However, by using a rotational grazing system, moderate stocking rates and multiple watering and feeding sites, the Telliers are able to ensure a healthy plant cover capable of sustaining the operation for generations to come. Three generations of the Tellier family have operated the Bar LD Ranch since it was first established in 1929. The ranch now supports 500 cow/calf pairs on 8,000 acres of deeded and leased land.
To protect and maintain soil conditions, moderate stocking rates are used in a rotational grazing system to ensure a healthy grass stand is maintained from year to year. Large areas of tree and bush stands are fenced to provide wildlife habitat and shelter for cattle in the winter months. Conservation tillage practices are also employed in the production of oilseeds and feedgrain crops. Water sources such as springs, dugouts and small lakes on the ranch are also protected and enhanced through the use of electric and gravity-fed remote watering systems and fencing.
Tellier has been eager to improve his management practices and to share what he has learned with others. Tellier has partnered with the Alberta Environmental Farm Plan Company (AEFP) to complete an assessment of his ranch. The program helps agricultural producers to evaluate the environmental risks and strengths of their operations and develop plans to address those risks and strengths. Tellier has actively worked with AEFP to promote this program to other producers. The Bar LD Ranch has also been certified through the Alberta On Farm Food Safety Program which provides third party verification that the highest standards for beef production are being followed.
Tellier has also worked with groups such as the Lakeland Agricultural Research Association. As a result, he has often hosted tours of cattle producers, school children or others interested in his management practices.
The ABP is proud to present the Year 2006 Environmental Stewardship Award to the Tellier family. 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.