Jackie and Steven Pemberton are the 2021 winners of The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) for Ontario. The Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) held their annual meeting virtually this year on February 17, where the award was announced. With this award, the Pembertons become Ontario’s nominee for the winner of the National award, which will be announced at the meeting of the Canadian Cattle Association (CCA) at the 2021 Canadian Beef Industry Conference, in August 2021. The Pembertons were nominated for the award by the Dundas County Cattlemen’s Association (DCCA).
The Pembertons currently farm 200 acres, producing corn, soybeans, hay, and grass-fed beef cattle. They got out of dairy cattle in 2007, after three generations. Jackie is currently serving her second three-year term as a Director on the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) Board of Directors, representing Zone 11, Dundas, Frontenac, Grenville, and Leeds. She previously served 13 years as President of the Dundas Federation of Agriculture (DFA) and 5 years on the policy advisory council for the OFA. Jackie also served as the Agricultural Representative with the South Nation Conservation (SNC), as an environmental consultant for the City of Ottawa, and as the Environmental Manager with Parmalat in Winchester. Her commitment to environmental stewardship spans many years.
Jackie and Steven are grateful to the DCCA for submitting the nomination. In a communication with the Times, they said: “ Just a note to thanks the Dundas cattleman’s for nomination and that Steven and are pleased to be awarded this recognition and to be amongst previous TESSA recipients is an honour.
These projects were not difficult to implement thanks to programs and support available, it was a great learning experience, and we hope it provides others with tools to encourage to the use BMP’s (Best management practices) in so that they may see to Implement on their own landscape as well as to encourage growth on smaller beef operations a proven way to manage manure runoff smaller scale.”
At Pemdale Farm, they have established over 700 metres of buffer and added 450 metres of pollinator hedgerows. They have constructed a wetland, with grassed waterways that filter runoff from the cattle yard. In addition to improving the water quality on the farm, and adding habitat while protecting the watershed, this project also provided an opportunity to demonstrate the use of Best Practices in environmental farm management. The Pembertons have welcomed groups to their farm to learn about these restoration projects. This has helped to increase awareness of water protection and habitat renewal, while encouraging discussion of such practices within the agricultural community.
This project was a partnership with Ontario East Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS), the South Nation Conservation Authority, and the University of Ottawa. They partnered with Carleton University for a 5-year pollinator biodiversity study. This award is a well-deserved recognition for many years of dynamic environmental stewardship and leadership. Congratulations. We hope to see you receive the National Award in the summer.