DENVER — An eastern Ohio beef operation was named a regional winner of the 2009 Environmental Stewardship Award during the Cattle Industry Summer Conference, held the week of July 17 in Denver, Colo.
The Youngs operate an Angus cattle farm with about 400 cow-calf pairs, and they background as many as 5,000 animals per year.
They have been at their current farm since 1995, when they purchased 283 acres of land and leased 2,500 acres of reclaimed strip mined land.
With their rotational grazing operation, the Youngs have utilized the application of bio-solids, practiced clipping and weed control and eliminated most of the erosion from the strip mined soil.
They have also fenced out ponds and lakes — instead running a water line from them — to ensure protection of wildlife and the preservation of local water sources.
“It’s just good management to do it this way,” Richard Young said. “The cattle do better, we have much healthier calves, and the grass is always productive.”
Beverly Riddle, program administrator of Belmont Soil and Water Conservation District, helped the Youngs to apply for this award. She said this is the first time in 19 years that an Ohio farm has won the stewardship award in this region, which is made up of 17 states.
The Youngs also received the 2009 Ohio Cattlemen Association’s 2009 Environmental Stewardship Award and the 2007 Commercial Cattleman of the Year award.
At the national conference, seven beef farms and ranches, representing a wide range of sizes and types of businesses, were selected as regional winners of the 2009 Environmental Stewardship Award.
A national winner will be selected by a 22-member committee and announced in January at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.
The Youngs represent Region 1, and the other six winners are:
— A 2,800-acre family business that produces Polled Hereford cattle, hay and row crops including cotton, corn, soybeans, peanuts, pecans, vegetables, annual forages, pine straw and timber.
— An operation managing herds of Angus, Hereford and Simmental cattle in two different locations.
— A family-owned operation which raises Holstein calves to be sent to finishing yards for further feeding and heifers for the dairy industry.
— An operation comprised of more than 10,000 acres of rangeland and irrigated hay land where Hereford Angus Crossbred cattle are raised.
— A certified organic, grass-fed cow-calf and yearling ranch run on 39,000 acres near the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
— A commercial cow-calf operation whose owners also no-till farm corn, sunflowers, oats and wheat.
The Environmental Stewardship Award is presented each year by The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and The National Cattlemen’s Foundation.