ALUS Red Deer County participants Tom and Margaret Towers receive the 2019 Dave Reid Award for innovation in the production of ecosystem services on Canadian farms and ranches.
On June 4, 2019, a crowd of 50 guests assembled at Rolyn Hills Ranch in Alberta as ALUS Canada presented the 2019 Dave Reid Award to ALUS Red Deer County participants Tom and Margaret Towers, of Tamara Ranch.
“We are honoured to receive this Canada-wide recognition,” said Tom Towers. “We will continue to produce ecological services, and be the change we envision in the world, one acre at a time.”
Formerly known as the ALUS Canada Producer Innovation Award, the Dave Reid Award is presented annually to Canadian farmers and ranchers who are excellent stewards of the land and who have done innovative work in producing ecosystem services through the ALUS program.
The prize, worth $10,000, has previously been presented to Joe Csoff (ALUS Norfolk) in 2018 and Gerry Taillieu (ALUS Parkland) in 2016. The award is supported by The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, ALUS Canada’s primary philanthropic partner.
“Tom and Margaret Towers are very deserving recipients of the 2019 Dave Reid Award,” said ALUS Canada CEO Bryan Gilvesy, “for their outstanding land-stewardship ethic, their commitment to innovation as producers, for their longstanding dedication to rebuilding Canada’s natural heritage, and for the impressive legacy they have created for future generations.”
Tom and Margaret Towers have been stewards of the land for decades. Tom has been an ALUS Red Deer County PAC member and Farmer Liaison since 2016. As ALUS participants, the Towers maintain 45 acres of ALUS projects, including wetlands and riparian zones, native trees and shrubs, wildlife-friendly fencing and alternative watering systems for livestock.
A special Runner-Up prize, worth $1,500, went to ALUS Mountain View participants Jerremie and Rita Clyde of Little Loaves Farm, located just north of Sundre, Alberta, for their role as proud, vocal, and effective advocates for ALUS.
“Rita and I are really happy to have our work recognized in this way,” said Jerremie. “We feel blessed to have land to care for, the chance to extend grace to a little bit of creation and really see the depth and breadth of life flourish. Even better are opportunities to share the experience with others and encourage them in their own stewardship activities. ALUS and their partners have been fantastic.”
Darren and Maria Smith, of Good Land Farms in Parkland County, Alberta, received an Honourable Mention prize, worth $500. The Smiths are keen participants of the ALUS Parkland program, who demonstrate a clear passion for sustainable agriculture and eagerly volunteer to host tours of their ALUS project to help raise awareness of stewardship.
“We are very honoured and surprised to be recognized,” Darren said. “We love our farm and enjoy growing healthy food for our family, friends and community. Our wetland was our first ALUS project but it has been excellent to work with ALUS Parkland, and we have more in mind for the future.”
Thank you to ALUS Red Deer County participants Rob and Lynda Purdie for hosting the 2019 Dave Reid Awards at beautiful Rolyn Hills Ranch.
A word of appreciation also to ALUS Red Deer County program coordinator Ken Lewis for his leadership and assistance in presenting the awards in Alberta. Established in 2013 as a partnership between ALUS Canada and Red Deer County, the ALUS Red Deer County program now has more than 100 participants, who have enrolled almost 5,000 acres into ALUS.
Congratulations to all recipients of the 2019 Dave Reid Awards!
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