The Radau family from east of Bowden was honoured for being exceptional stewards of the land.
They were awarded with the 2019 Alberta Beef Producers Environmental Stewardship award at the association's Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, December 4 in Calgary.
Randy Radau runs Coulee Crest Farms with his wife Sandra and son Luke, and says it's humbling to be recognized by their peers.
"We've just tried to make one or two significant improvements every year in our stewardship, and over a lifetime that adds up to be a fair bit. When we look back at it, I guess we have made some pretty good improvements."
Randy and Sandra have been at the farm since 1989. They purchased the farm originally homesteaded by the Radau’s in 1929, and assumed management of the purebred Hereford herd.
The family runs a purebred and commercial cow-calf operation where they background their calves, as well as an integrated grain operation where they stubble graze cattle and utilize composted manure on cropland.
"We've got a winter watering site where we pump the water out of our dugout to water our cows and keep them out of the run off area," Radau says. "We haul our manure out of our corrals and move it about three times and compost it before we spread it, and we've done quite a bit of work developing springs and different water sources."
Radau says, most recently they've done a Ducks Unlimited project where they've stabilized the level of a large 30 acre slough.
The majority of grazing is done in Spruce Coulee, which is designated as an Environmentally Significant Area by Red Deer County.
Luke Radau is studying agriculture at Lethbridge University where he's the President of the Aggie Club and says, it's exciting to be the younger generation coming back to the farm.
"We have to make sure to take care of the land, and it will take care of us, so we can continue to produce good quality beef cattle and look after our environment."
Sandra Radau says, it's an honour to be recognized for the environmental stewardship practices on their farm they often take for granted.
"We're just trying to do the best job that we can every year, so it was a surprise to get the call that Ducks Unlimited wanted to nominate us, then to win the award. It's an honour that we are with our peers who are doing just as good a job as we are, but it is such a pleasure to win the award."
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