Impressive nominees for environmental stewardship awards

Money invested in protecting environment is returning beef production dividends

By Lee Hart

Four farms and ranches from across Canada have been nominated by their provincial beef organizations as contenders for The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) presented by the Canadian Cattleman’s Association (CCA)

The four beef operations from Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia are all in the running for national TESA, which will be announced in an on-line, virtual presentation August 12 at 11:30 a.m.

Following is a brief summary of each of the nominations, while the link provided will connect readers with a more detailed profile of environmental efforts made by these farm or ranch operation. The detailed profiles were published on-line in the CCA Action News.


Paul De Jong of the Charlton Angus Cattle Company is this year’s recipient of the Beef Farmers of Ontario’s Environmental Stewardship Award. Located in the Temiskaming District of Northern Ontario, Paul runs a 150-head cow-calf Angus farm on six quarter sections of land comprised of approximately half trees and half pasture or hayland with three streams crossing the property.


The 2020 recipient of the Manitoba Beef Producers’ Environmental Stewardship Award are Thomas and Felicity Hagan and their Hagan Valley Ranch near Virden, Manitoba. The couple targets the right balance between production, profitability and a healthy environment by focusing on soil health and thoughtful grazing practices. The family, which includes their children Rory and Ryan, raise upwards of 320 cows and 300 yearlings and custom graze about 100 head on the 3,200-acres of native pasture encompassing the ranch. Manitoba:


Deer Creek Ranch, located near Milk River, Alberta, is the recipient of the Alberta Beef Producers’ 2020 Environmental Stewardship Award. Deer Creek Ranch was established prior to the year 1900 and has continued to grow ever since. In 1939 the Gilchrist brothers purchased the ranch and the Gilchrist family homesteaded at the Deer Creek Ranch until the spring of 2011. At that time, the current owners – Deer Creek Livestock Co. Ltd., comprised of Richard Visser, James Bekkering, Kyle Turner and Jeff Smith – purchased the ranch. For the last nine years these owners have continued the stewardship work started by the Gilchrists. Alberta:

British Columbia

The Seelhof family, consisting of Ricky and Chad and their children Riata, Cooper and Renee, are the recipients of the 2020 BCCA Ranch Sustainability Award. They operate Woodjam Ranch near Horsefly B.C., a 500-head black Angus cow/calf business on 2120 acres of cultivated and native rangeland in association with 80,000 acres of crown grazing license area. The couple purchased the ranch in 2013 from Chad’s parents who have owned the property since 2003.

British Columbia:

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary. Contact him at 403-592-1964 or by email at [email protected]











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Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.



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