Congratulations to Marc Bercier, ALUS Ontario East participant and PAC member, for receiving the 2020 Dave Reid Award
The 2020 Dave Reid Award has been presented to Marc Bercier, an ALUS Ontario East participant and PAC member who, along with his family, Chantal and Guillaume Bercier, owns and operates a farm (La Ferme Agriber Inc.) as well as a seed-cleaning business (Centre de Criblage Marc Bercier), in St-Isidore, Ontario, located halfway between Montreal and Ottawa.
“Over the years, Marc has had an immense impact on the development of the ALUS program in Eastern Ontario,” said Bryan Gilvesy, ALUS Canada CEO. “He not only does a great job managing his ALUS projects to produce cleaner air, cleaner water and more biodiversity for his community, but also excels in showing other farmers how to restore parcels of land for the benefit of both wildlife and the community, by hosting tours of his ALUS projects and speaking frequently at ALUS events and workshops.”
Bercier has been involved with the ALUS Ontario East program since September 2013, when the planning started for his first ALUS project—converting a ravine between his farm and a newly purchased parcel of land into a natural area. His motivation for maintaining environmental ALUS projects is driven by an ethos of caring for and learning from the land, the water, his community and his family.
“ALUS has given me the opportunity to meet people with different points of view, but people with the same core values—that’s a reward for me,” said Bercier. “Farmers are a small part of the population, but an organization like ALUS helps us feel supported. In receiving this award, I feel even more encouraged to continue the good work and transmit that to the next generation.”
Formerly known as the ALUS Canada Producer Innovation Award, the Dave Reid Award has previously been presented to Tom Towers (ALUS Red Deer County) in 2019, Joe Csoff (ALUS Norfolk) in 2018 and Gerry Taillieu (ALUS Parkland) in 2016.
A special runner-up prize went to ALUS Lambton participant and PAC member Mary Ellen King in Ontario. King has devoted more than 110 acres of her 1,100-acre farm, which has been in the King family since the 1830s, to wetlands, indigenous tall grass prairie and other naturalized features through ALUS Lambton. “I’m proud to be a farmer,” she said. “It takes a lot of grit and good common sense to run a farm these days. I like ALUS because it beautifies my world, and because it makes me feel good to give back.”
This year’s Dave Reid Award also featured an Honourable Mention prize, which went to ALUS Parkland PAC Chair and participant Eldon Greanya, for his admirable dedication to stewarding nature on his 1,000-acre ranch in Alberta. “It’s quite an honour that somebody is recognizing my efforts over the years,” said Greanya. “ALUS shines a light onto the ecosystem here, and it shows us that there are other people out there, and even huge companies, who support this work we are doing through ALUS.”
All ALUS supporters, program coordinators, PAC members and participants are also to be congratulated for helping to rebuild Canada’s natural heritage for the benefit of Canadian communities.
The 2020 Weston Family Ecosystem Innovation Award, which recognizes researchers or ALUS Canada partners for excellence and innovation in scientific research on ecosystem services produced on farmland for the broader public good, was also presented today. For details follow this link.