ALUS presents a profile series showcasing outstanding farmers and ranchers creating ecosystem services in Alberta.
ALUS participants Lisa Kennedy and Joey Halter run a mixed farm near Olds, Alberta. They custom-graze cow-calf pairs and keep horses, sheep and laying hens on their 80 acres.
“We like being part of ALUS because the program facilitates the type of environmentally mindful agriculture that we believe in,” says Lisa. “Our Program Coordinator provides good information and feedback, and the program provides funding to help us manage our ALUS projects.”
Lisa and Joey signed up as ALUS Mountain View County participants in 2018 and, by 2020, had enrolled more than 28 acres into the program for nine ALUS projects, including wetlands, riparian pastures, ecobuffers and shelterbelts. They have also installed a dozen birdhouses, as well as a bee house and bat house.
“All our ALUS projects are helping the environment by improving water quality and biodiversity on our land,” says Joey. “We like seeing increased wildlife around the wetland.”
Their latest ALUS project involves a series of ecobuffers, covering approximately 1.6 acres in total. As shown in the photo, they are planted in three long rows along the edge of the cattle pasture, designed to help protect water quality in a tributary of the Lonepine Creek.
Their ecobuffers feature 2,100 seedlings of native species tolerant to saline conditions, including red osier dogwood, raspberry, elderberry, chokecherry, saskatoon, balsam poplar, trembling aspen and white spruce.
This ALUS project was created in collaboration with the Agroforestry and Woodlot Extension Society (AWES), and the establishment costs were shared with the Canadian Agricultural Partnership Environmental Stewardship and Climate Change Program.
When it is mature, the ecobuffer will provide food and habitat for wildlife, including pollinators. “It may even provide food for us,” they remarked, “as long as the birds don’t get all the berries first!”
ALUS is proud to count Lisa Kennedy and Joey Halter among its Trail Blazers in Alberta.