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Saskatchewan Names 2021 TESA Award Winner

The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association, Ducks Unlimited Canada and MNP recognize excellence in environmental stewardship in the ranching industry each year with the TESA award.

This year's winners are Ed and Charlotte Bothner, the couple run a cow-calf operation in the Beechy area.

In making the announcement Tom Harrison gave a history of the couple's ranching operation.

The Bothner's made a decision in the 1990's to turn their operation into a full time ranching enterprise.

Harrison says much of the cropland was seeded back to grass and in 2002 they purchased some native grassland adjacent to the South Saskatchewan River that had been badly overutilized and through their dedication to managing and improving the land were able to turn it around.

"They entered into an agreement under the Ministry of Agriculture's Land Improvement Policy. After a range assessment was completed, Bothner agreed to manage the grass with 50% decreased stocking rates. In addition Ed and Charlotte had completed some cross-fencing to facilitate rotational grazing. Tame forge stands closer to their headquarters allowed them to delay grazing on the river division of the ranch until just before breeding season."

By doing so, it meant that the range condition improved enough that by the mid 2000's they could begin adjusting their stocking rates.

Today the Bothner's run a cow-calf operation in the Beechy area with 6000 acres of native grassland.

Harrison relayed a quote from Bothner that he gave when he was mentoring Kimberly Simpson that summarizes his philosophy.

"Native grasslands are very resilient, capable of surviving droughts, wet years, and managed well can flourish while being grazed. Native grasses represent a community. A community of plants, not just grasses, their stages, shrubs and forbs growing within the native grass. A community of plants that have a symbiotic relationship with one another. And that's what makes it so magical."

Ed and Charlotte Bothner have been recognized for their work and efforts with The Environmental Stewardship Award for 2021.

The couple will go on to compete against other provincial TESA honoree's for the National Award during the Canadian Beef Industry Conference,  August 31 to September 2.

This year marks the 25th Anniversary for the National TESA Award.

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