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Beef producers receive awards during Beef Farmers of Ontario’s Annual General Meeting

Farmers from Chatham-Kent and Grey County took home honours

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
Farms.com

Beef farmers from Chatham-Kent and Grey County took home awards Wednesday during Beef Farmers of Ontario’s 55th Annual General Meeting in Toronto.

Paul DeJong of Dundalk, Ont. received the 2017 Mapleseed Pasture Award for his pasture management practices.

DeJong operates Ventry Hill Farms, a 450 acre farm, 100 acres of which are in pasture. He runs 50 cow-calf pairs and raises an additional 70 stockers.

To maximize pasture production, DeJong uses strip grazing to help maintain consistent height and quality, according to the release. He also installed a waterline that provides fresh water to each paddock which helps prevent forages from being trampled.


Paul DeJong receives the Mapleseed Pasture Award.
Photo: Beef Farmers of Ontario/Twitter

"Pasture is the main source of feed for my herd and there is a high water table in our area," DeJong said in a release. "We try to pasture at least six months of the year, and by grazing a fall rye cover crop, pasture can be extended by two weeks.”

Lawrence Levesque, district sales manager with Mapleseed, said effective rotational pasture management can have economic and environmental benefits.

Chris Knight, his wife Julie and his brother Carl, operators of Clear Creek Farms in Chatham-Kent, received the Environmental Stewardship Award for their dedication to sustainable agriculture.

Clear Creek Farms is a cow-calf to finish operation consisting of about 65 Angus cows. The Knights practice intense rotational grazing and continual movement of cattle on their farm allows pastures to recover.


Chris Knight receives the Environmental Stewardship Award.
Photo: Beef Farmers of Ontario/Twitter

"The benefits of rotational grazing have allowed us to raise a cow-calf pair on 1.5 acres in an average year,” Chris said in a release. "This is a very positive story for the beef industry because it means that by managing pastures effectively, we can raise more pounds of beef per acre and help regenerate soil health."

Farms.com congratulates Paul DeJong and the Knight family on their awards.

Beef Farmers of Ontario’s Annual General Meeting wraps up Thursday. Use the hashtag #BFOAGM to follow along on social media.


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