A local family is one of the finalists for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA), which will be announced in Calgary tonight, August 16. The TESA is a national award, which has recognized outstanding stewardship and conservation practices of Canada’s beef producers since 1996.
Mark and Laura Hoimyr and family were already recognized with the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association 2017 Environmental Stewardship Award for their company Box H Land and Livestock. Extending the grazing season sustainably, and improving soil health are two priorities at Box H Land and Livestock. The ranch is primarily a livestock operation made up of native mixed grass prairie, tame forages, and annual cropland that is planted to forages and is based in the brown soil zone in southern Saskatchewan. The ranch is situated on the southwest boundary of the Missouri Coteau landscape, in the Gladmar area.
This family run operation involves Mark and Laura’s two children, Anna and Jeremy, and Mark’s parents. They have been working at extending their grazing season to reduce wintering costs. With careful planning, they have managed to convert much of the marginal farmland to perennial forages, which has helped conserve soil, and build up organic matter for improving water infiltration and soil productivity. They have developed buried waterlines, implemented rotational grazing systems, cross fences and alternative wintering systems. They are big proponents of improving soil health, and continuously are adapting new practices for soil health like planting annual cover crops and grass management to extend grazing.
Box H Land and Livestock completed the Environmental Farm Plan, and have worked with numerous groups to complete projects that improve the environment and their ranching operation, as well as Ducks Unlimited Canada and Water Security Agency on various projects in the area.