Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) is proud to announce that the recipient of our 15th annual Environmental Stewardship Award is Brown Creek Ranch, owned and operated by Brian and Shaunere Lane. Nestled in the Porcupine Hills just west of Claresholm, Alberta, Brown Creek Ranch is primarily a cow-calf operation, with an average herd size of 182 head, mostly Angus. The Lane family provides an excellent example to both producers and consumers of the positive impact good ranching practices can have on both the land and local community.
Since assuming ownership of Brown Creek Ranch in 1997, The Lanes have returned bare pasture to productive forage, decreased weeds and increased the amount of native vegetation. This has involved numerous changes such as eliminating the use of corrals for feeding, leading to better air quality and soil and vegetation improvements due to less manure concentration. That brings energy savings, as less equipment and fuel to move feed is required. One of the biggest sources of improvement is increased rotational grazing to equally disperse impact to the land, using crossed fencing and greater attention to the location of watering sources and salt blocks. Natural springs have become the ranch’s main watering system, with spring heads fenced off to prevent backflow and eliminate the possibility of contamination. And emphasizing the springs as a main water source allows for greater preservation and management of riparian areas.
Alberta Beef Producers considers its environmental stewardship nominees based on the following criteria: Range Management ; Riparian area management and water quality; Wintering or feeding site management; Manure management; Wildlife and wildlife habitat; Animal Welfare; Community involvement and extension regarding environmental stewardship activities.
For their inspiration to cattle producers and their shining example to the public, Alberta Beef Producers salutes Brown Creek Ranch and the Lane family - winners of the Alberta Beef Producers 2007 Environmental Stewardship Award.