Source: Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is pleased to announce Woodjam Ranch, near Horsefly, British Columbia (B.C.), as the recipient of the 2020 The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA). Woodjam Ranch is owned and operated by Ricky and Chad Seelhof along with their children Riata, Cooper and Renee. The couple purchased the ranch in 2013 from Chad’s parents who had owned the property since 2003.
The Seelhof Family runs a 500-head black Angus cow/calf business on 2120 acres of cultivated and native rangeland in association with 80,000 acres of crown grazing license area. This ranch family feels it is their responsibility to steward the land.
“Judging a recipient for this year’s TESA proved, as it always does, to be difficult due to the very impressive slate of nominees,” says Duane Thompson, Chair of CCA’s Environment Committee. “What stood out with the Seelhof family and their Woodjam Ranch was the extraordinary work they’ve done on enhancing and improving the many riparian areas on their operation. In addition, they have shared their stewardship experiences and encouraged other producers to do likewise, that’s very impressive and good for our industry.”
Woodjam Ranch is in the heart of the province’s Cariboo region and lies adjacent to the Horsefly River and has 16 tributary creeks running through it. Ensuring these waterways maintain their health is paramount. The Seelhofs focus on planting a lot of willow, and work on riverbank restoration to prevent the significant spring flooding the ranch is subject to due to riverbank erosion.
Working in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Seelhof Family has installed eight large off-river watering systems and added in-ground piping. Furthermore, they continue to develop pasture in higher areas to keep cattle off the flood prone riparian areas.
Thompson highlighted that the TESA judges recognize the exceptional commitment of all nominees in bringing innovative conservation solutions to their operations that protect the environment and wildlife around them.
The award was presented by Thompson during this year’s virtual Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC). CCA will host the Seelhofs at next year’s CBIC in Penticton, B.C. from August 17 to 19, 2021.
Thank you to our Platinum Sponsor, MNP, for sponsoring this year’s TESA program.
The CCA’s national annual award, TESA has recognized the outstanding stewardship efforts of Canadian beef producers since 1996. For more information about TESA, click here.
The CCA is the national voice for Canada’s beef cattle industry representing 60,000 beef farms and feedlots.