NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Masonic Village Farm, near Elizabethtown, Pa., received the National Cattlemen’s Foundation Environmental Steward Award Feb. 2 during the 2012 Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade Show in Nashville, Tenn.
The Masonic Village, a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community owned and operated by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, has partnered with federal and state agencies as well as private agricultural organizations to manage natural resources.
“At the Masonic Village Farm, they have raised the bar by partnering with local, state and federal governmental and private organizations to implement innovative practices and technologies that will leave the land and its resources better for future generations of beef producers,” said NCBA Chief Executive Officer Forrest Roberts.
The Masonic Village Farm, which has been in operation for more than 100 years, raises 180 cow/calf pairs, maintains a feedlot that finishes approximately 200 steers annually, grows corn, soybeans and hay land.
The farm implements rotational grazing to maintain its pastures; uses manure from feedlots to fertilize its fields; and innovative watering systems throughout the farm.
Additionally, the farm invites the public to tour the facilities and learn more about the possibilities of stewardship in agriculture.
Blue sky, red meat
The Masonic Village was nominated by the Pennsylvania NRCS and was recognized during the 2011 Cattle Industry Summer Conference as one of six regional ESAP winners.
“It has been spoken by more than one person at The Village that they take blue sky and green grass and make red meat,” said Denise Coleman with the Pennsylvania NRCS, which nominated the Masonic Village Farm.
“In doing so, they seek a balance between the land, the cattle, the crops, the residents and the environment to remain a profitable, productive and viable agricultural operation.”
The Environmental Stewardship Award Program, now in its 21 year, was created to recognize beef producers who make environmental stewardship a priority on their farms while they also improve production and profitability.
Nominations for the 2012 award are due by March 2.
Nominations can be submitted by any organization, group, or individual on behalf of a U.S. cattle producer. However, individuals and families cannot nominate themselves. Past nominees are eligible and encouraged to resubmit an application.