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Block Ranch receives stewardship award

Block Ranch, near Abbey, consists of approximately 60,000 acres.
The Block Ranch won the Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA) on Monday, June 10 at the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association convention in Swift Current. Neil Block says one of the most important things they do on their operation is taking care of the grass. He says they always are trying to improve the range and leave more time for rest.

SWIFT CURRENT — When Neil Block won the Saskatchewan environmental stewardship award on June 10 at the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association convention in Swift Current, he talked about his love for his work.

Block Ranch is near Abbey, Sask., and consists of approximately 60,000 acres. The family runs cow-calf pairs and yearlings and grazes year-round. Ranching in the sand hills of Saskatchewan can feature dryness and shifting soil, but Block says with a little care, it is a great location.

Neil Block talks about the Block Ranch.

“It’s really very resilient if you respect it, so, I don’t know if we have any challenges. It’s actually quite a great place to be.”

Taking care of grass is a primary pursuit, said Block, and he is always working to improve the range.

“We’re doing a project with the (Saskatchewan) Stock Growers Foundation. It’s a 100-acre field that is primarily crested wheatgrass that we are changing back to native. And we’re using grazing pressure to try and control the crested wheat to enable the native species to have a chance to establish themselves.”


Neil Block talks about his project with the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Foundation.


In recent years, he has been allowing researchers and larger groups of people onto the ranch as a way to share the message that ranchers do good, sustainable work.

“I realized there are a lot of people that are on our side,” Block says.

Now that Block Ranch has won the provincial TESA award, it will participate in the national award program competition. The winner will be announced at the August Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Saskatoon.