The Kotelko brothers, Bernard and Michael of northeastern Alberta, received the 1997 Alberta Cattle Commission Environmental Stewardship Award for their excellent management practices, their commitment to limiting the environmental impact of their feedlot, and their efforts to promote best management practices to the beef industry.
The Kotelkos' approach to the environment is rooted in their approach to business. "Producers are facing some real challenges but everything isn't just economics," says Bernard Kotelko. "As stewards, the well-being of the environment is our responsibility, and in order to remain competitive, we have to show a strong commitment to protect it."
For the Kotelkos, this means aligning the goals of environmental enhancement with successful production both on a day-to-day basis and in their long-term strategies. The program on their 25,000 head feedlot and 3,800 acres of cropland includes manure analysis, soil analysis, crop nutritional requirements, cropping history as well as manure management history. They also cooperate in industry research projects to minimize environmental impacts of their feedlot.