Source: Beef Farmers of Ontario
The Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) is pleased to announce Paul De Jong, owner and operator of Charlton Angus Cattle Company located in Charlton, Ontario, is the 2020 recipient of The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA), sponsored by the RBC Royal Bank. The award was presented to De Jong at BFO’s 58th Annual General Meeting, which was held in Toronto earlier this week.
Operating his 150-head, cow-calf Angus operation in the Timiskaming District, De Jong has worked hard to establish sustainable and healthy pasture and hay crops that will maintain his cattle herd throughout the year. He has shown his dedication and commitment to the environment by focusing on pasture management, maintaining soil health and caring for waterways.
Charlton Angus Cattle Company focuses on a well-maintained rotational grazing system, grazing cattle for short periods of time and moving them frequently to allow the pasture to recover. An extensive fencing system prevents his herd from entering wooded areas, creeks and wetlands to ensure the biodiversity and natural habitats of local wildlife can be maintained. De Jong aims to minimize soil erosion and promote soil health through his anticipated goal of achieving 100 per cent land cover of his farm. De Jong believes the first step to understanding environmental sustainability and its ever-changing functions, is being open minded to future learning opportunities and innovation within the sector.
“Factors leading to improved management changes include continued education of all sorts, such as meetings, courses, conferences and annual industry meetings,” says De Jong. “I will continue to educate myself and host farm tours whenever possible.”
De Jong has a long-standing and well-established Environmental Farm Plan. He plans to continuing using a holistic farm management plan to ensure a true balance is maintained on his farm. He participates actively in his community, acting as a director on his local beef farmer association, as well as working with the local conservation associations to promote cover cropping and other sustainability-focused initiatives.
TESA recognizes the outstanding environmental stewardship of an Ontario beef farmer. Special consideration is given to farmers who have taken innovative approaches to environmentally sustainable beef production.