Federal forage breeder wins research award

“The award recognizes scientists and academics who make phenomenal contributions to the advancement in the competitiveness and sustainability of the Canadian beef industry,” said Beef Cattle Research Council chair Matt Bowman. | Supplied photo

Nova Scotia winners of this year’s TESA raise beef cattle and operate an online store, greenhouse and market garden

An Alberta scientist has been honored with the 2021 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation.

“This is only the first time I was awarded anything from the cattle industry, and this is a big one,” said Surya Acharya, principal research scientist and forage breeder at Agriculture Canada’s Lethbridge Research and Development Centre.

“We have to know which forages are important for which area and what these different forages do to our cattle, not just in terms of their productivity but also in terms of their nutrition, and finally, what these forages do to our soil.”

He spoke as part of a video presentation for the award, which was held online as part of the recent virtual Canadian Beef Industry Conference. Acharya is the seventh person to receive the honour, which was established by the Beef Cattle Research Council in 2015.

“The award recognizes scientists and academics who make phenomenal contributions to the advancement in the competitiveness and sustainability of the Canadian beef industry,” said BCRC chair Matt Bowman during the video.

Acharya’s achievements include the development of 25 commercial perennial forage and native grass species used by beef producers, said Bowman, adding the researcher “is known for his unique multi-faceted approach to forage breeding, which considers numerous production goals to best meet the needs of end producers like beef producers.”

Meanwhile, producers Dean and Catherine Manning of Falmouth, N.S., were honoured at the conference as the national winners of the 25th annual The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) hosted by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

Dean and Catherine Manning of Falmouth, N.S., recently received the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association’s Environmental Stewardship Award. | CCA photo

They were chosen from among six nominees across the country who won the award at the regional level.

“As caretakers of a vast portion of the Canadian landscape, the producers who work on Canada’s 60,000 feed farms and ranches play an important role in protecting and enhancing the environment,” said Duane Thompson, chair of the CCA’s environment committee.

“TESA recognizes the beef producers who investigate innovative ways to include conservation and environmental stewardship as part of their business plan.”

The Mannings raise 80 head of commercial and purebred beef cattle on about 500 acres. They also operate an online store, a greenhouse and market garden for vegetables sold through local farm markets.

“I just think with environmental stewardship, it kind of helps with the success of our farm,” said Dean. “We kind of look at things I guess from the stewardship point of view whenever we start doing things, and just not ourselves and our generation (or) our family, but it’s our communities that we live in and the whole environment around this.”

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