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The 2019 Dave Reid Awards - ALUS Canada

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.

2019 Dave Reid Award
ALUS Canada CEO Bryan Gilvesy presents the 2019 Dave Reid Award to ALUS Red Deer County participants Tom and Margaret Towers, of Tamara Ranch in Alberta.

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.

Rolyn Hills Ranch event
On June 4, a crowd of 50 guests gathered at Rolyn Hills Ranch in Alberta as ALUS Canada presented the 2019 Dave Reid Awards. Photo: Laura Grace Photography

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.”

The Towers with Ken Lewis
Congratulations to Dave Reid Award honorees Tom and Margaret Towers, with ALUS Red Deer County Coordinator Ken Lewis. Photo: Laura Grace Photography

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.

Jerremie Clyde Runner Up
ALUS Canada’s Western Lead, Rhonda King, presents a Runner-Up prize for the 2019 Dave Reid Award to ALUS Mountain View participant Jerremie Clyde, of Little Loaves Farm. Photo: Laura Grace Photography

“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.”

AREF
CEO Bryan Gilvesy chats with a strong ALUS supporter and partner, Cheryl di Paoli, Executive Director of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation. Photo: Laura Grace Photography

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.

Darren and Maria Smith Honourable Mention
ALUS Canada Agrologist Howie Bjorge presented the Honourable Mention for the Dave Reid Awards to Darren and Maria Smith, of Good Land Farms in Parkland County, Alberta. Photo: Laura Grace Photography

“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.

Host Rob Purdie
ALUS Red Deer County participants Rob and Lynda Purdie hosted the 2019 Dave Reid Awards at beautiful Rolyn Hills Ranch. Photo: Laura Grace Photography

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!

Dave Reid Award recipients
From left to right: ALUS Mountain View Program Coordinator Lorelee Grattidge, Runner-Up Jerremie Clyde, Honourable Mention recipients Maria and Darren Smith, ALUS Parkland Coordinator Jennifer Caudron, Dave Reid Award honorees Margaret and Tom Towers, and ALUS Red Deer County Coordinator Ken Lewis. Photo: Laura Grace Photography

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