Vince and Wanda Lohman of Innisfail are the 2005 recipients of the Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) Environmental Stewardship Award (ESA). Their genuine love of farm life, livestock and working the land has spurred them into adopting environmentally sound strategies in order to preserve their operation for generations to come.
"We're trying to achieve a sustainable farm that our kids can continue to make a living off of it without disturbing the environment," says Vince Lohman of their attitude toward environmental stewardship and their goals.
The Lohman ranch lies on the Little Red Deer River on six quarters of hay, cropland and pasture and includes a 120-head cow herd and a small custom feeding and calving business. Because of their proximity to the river, the Lohmans have continuously improved their watering systems — reducing cattle access to the river and implementing dugout watering, which is now being converted to a series of stock waters fed by a pipeline system.
Other key elements of the Lohman's environmental planning include soil erosion and grassland conservation. Planting of shelterbelts had decreased soil erosion. Rotational grazing, managed by electric fencing and rotational cropping help nutrient retention in the soil and plants.
The Lohman's have taken an aggressive, pro-active approach to stewardship on their operation, but they also actively share their experience and knowledge with others through their involvement with the Friends of the Little Red Deer River Society, Friends of the Eastern Slopes Association, Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Grey Wooded Forage Association, local agricultural societies and 4-H clubs.
The ABP is pleased to present the Environmental Stewardship Award for 2005 to Vince and Wanda Lohman. The judging committee was formed by representatives from conservation and agriculture. The committee 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.