Congratulations to Paul Caplette, ALUS Montérégie participant, winner of the 2022 Dave Reid Award in the amount of $10,000.
Montérégie, QC, September 13, 2022 — The Dave Reid Award honors innovative farmers participating in ALUS who are dedicated to producing ecological services on their land for the benefit of their communities and the environment. ALUS recognizes their vital role as stewards of the environment and ambassadors for the ALUS program. The award is accompanied by a $10,000 cash prize.
The 2022 Dave Reid Award Winner, Paul Caplette
This year’s Dave Reid Award goes to Paul Caplette, an ALUS Montérégie participant and field crop producer. Paul took over the family business with his brother Pierre when they were both young men. The two brothers began experimenting with agri-environmental practices around 2000 and are now aiming for carbon neutrality within the next ten years. In 2018, they set up their first ALUS projects. These multifunctional windbreaks have since been joined by a riparian meadow for pollinators, a sedimentary basin for wildlife, a biodiversity island, flower strips, other windbreaks as well as nesting boxes and bat houses. In total, nearly 25 acres of ALUS nature-based solutions are producing ecosystem services on the Caplettes’ Céréales Bellevue Farm.
“Paul Caplette has been a leader in Quebec’s agri-environmental movement for years and a remarkable ALUS ambassador ever since he joined the program in 2018. He is very involved in the advancement of knowledge to develop practices that address key issues on farmland,” says Bryan Gilvesy, CEO of ALUS. “We are thrilled to recognize him as an exceptional steward of the environment and to make his contribution shine across the country.”
Engaged in numerous agricultural projects and a member of several regional and provincial committees, Paul helps to promote good soil conservation practices and to raise awareness of the impact of agri-environmental activities in his community and beyond. Paul Caplette is frequently in the media promoting agri-environmental projects and is active on social media and in the Bulletin des agriculteurs where he writes an award-winning blog.
“I am truly honoured and touched to receive the Dave Reid Award, a national recognition. I never would have seen myself here 30 years ago. I share it with my brother and my mother and I hope it reflects on the farmers in my community as well,” says Paul. “I will continue to carry the torch of biodiversity high with the purpose to inspire others to do the same, now and in the future.”
Runners-up for the Dave Reid Award
This year, ALUS also recognizes finalists who have distinguished themselves through their outstanding work: Annette and Michael Rosendal of ALUS Northern Sunrise in Alberta and Maude and Renaud Péloquin of ALUS Montérégie in Québec.
Annette and Michael Rosendal
Owners of their family’s Front Porch farm and farmers for over 15 years, Annette and Michael Rosendal’s fundamental principle has always been to “seek a balance between conservation and agricultural production.” Active members of their agricultural community, they co-authored the Peace Native Grassland Stewardship Program, a guide to stewardship practices. For Annette and Michael, stewardship and sustainability are a way of life, one that they share with their son and daughter.
Producers of grass-fed beef, farmed pork, eggs and honey, Annette and Michael were among the first participants in ALUS Northern Sunrise in 2017. The Rosendals built a large wetland, a natural infrastructure feature providing ecosystem services and a place for biodiversity. An alternative watering system was also put in place for the cattle to keep them away from the pond.
“We appreciate how ALUS and their partners encourage conservation on working farms by supporting projects that can be a win-win for the environment and day-to-day farming operations,” says Annette. “Every day, we see the difference our ALUS projects make for our farm and are grateful for the support and recognition of ALUS.”
Maude and Renaud Péloquin
ALUS Montérégie participants, Maude and Renaud Péloquin are the eighth generation to take over the family business Ferme de Sainte-Victoire, which is dedicated to field crops and raising grain calves. The sister and brother are particularly concerned with taking care of their business, the soil, the water and the landscape. Their greatest wish is to be able to continue to cultivate their land in a healthy and sustainable way for many generations to come.
Since 2018, Maude and Renaud have devoted more than twelve acres to ALUS nature-based solutions, creating a wealth ecosystem services that serve their farm, the community and the environment. Covering nearly all of the nine kilometres of waterways running across their land, the Péloquin’s ALUS projects protect the health of the water and the ecology that depends on it.
“It is important for us to invest in the environment on our farm, and the ALUS program has allowed us to put in place enhanced riparian buffers to, among other things, promote biodiversity and preserve species at risk. As parents of young children, we want to do our part in the fight against climate change to leave cleaner air and water for future generations,” says Renaud.
“It’s a family project that we are particularly proud of,” adds Maude.
About the Dave Reid Award
The Dave Reid Award honors farmers across the country who are innovating by producing ecological services on their land. ALUS recognizes their vital role as stewards of the environment and ambassadors of the ALUS program.
Formerly known as the ALUS Canada Producer Innovation Award, the Dave Reid Award has previously been presented to Duane Movald (ALUS Brazeau) in 2021, Marc Bercier (ALUS Ontario East) in 2020, Tom Towers (ALUS Red Deer County) in 2019, Joe Csoff (ALUS Norfolk) in 2018 and Gerry Taillieu (ALUS Parkland) in 2016.
Dave Reid is one of the original developers of the ALUS concept, having laid the foundations of the program and co-authored the ALUS program concept and guiding principles Alternative Land Use Services – A Farmer’s Conservation Plan. Of note, Dave was instrumental in elaborating the vision of the Partnership Advisory Committee, the locally empowered governance structure that makes ALUS unique. A lifelong resident of Norfolk County, Ontario, and a biologist, Dave Reid had a long career with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources before becoming involved in launching ALUS, holding the positions of Hub Manager and Director of Research & Development.
ALUS (originally an acronym for Alternative Land Use Services) is a national charitable organization that provides expertise, resources, and direct financial support to 35 communities across 6 provinces where more than 1,400 farmers and ranchers establish and steward nature-based solutions on their land. These solutions deliver ecosystem services to help sustain agriculture and fight climate change and biodiversity loss for the benefit of communities and future generations. Projects such as enhanced wetlands, windbreaks, riparian buffer zones, wildlife habitats, adaptative agricultural practices and other impactful environmental solutions produce cleaner air, cleaner water, greater biodiversity, carbon sequestration, erosion control, flood and drought mitigation, pollinator and wildlife habitat, and other ecological services.