Alberta Beef Producers hands out environmental stewardship award to southern Alberta ranch – Calgary Herald

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For the Taylor family, protecting wildlife is an important part of what they do on their southern Alberta ranch.

Taylor Ranches, owned and operated by Robert and Audrey Taylor and their family, were named earlier this week by the Alberta Beef Producers as the 2024 recipients of the group’s Environmental Stewardship Award, presented annually to cattle producers who exemplify environmentally sustainable cattle production.
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The Taylors manage around 800 commercial cattle and over 15,000 acres of land in three separate southern Alberta locations, including land around their home place west of Warner, about 280 kilometres southeast of Calgary. On their land, many at-risk and sensitive species can be found, from ferruginous hawk to northern leopard frog.

“Our jobs as stewards of the land is to keep everything how it has been for the last 100 years – so the grass is the same, the wildlife is all the same,” said Audrey Taylor. “And we’d like to see this exactly how it is 100 years from now.”

The family has worked with organizations such as Ducks Unlimited Canada, and through teaming up with that group 39 naturally occurring wetlands on their land have been restored.

The Taylors’ land near Warner is located on the Milk River Ridge, where many rolling hills can be found.

“We have lots of small sloughs in every little low point, which is beautiful duck habitat,” said Clayton Taylor.

The family’s conservation efforts include installing stands for bird-of-prey nesting and, with their dugouts, using solar power to pump water into off-site water troughs.

Doug Roxburg, vice chair of Alberta Beef Producers, says this year has seen a dramatic change from a year ago for cattle producers, with feed more readily available.

Feed prices were “incredibly” high last year but some grain prices have decreased in the past six to eight months, and that’s helped to offset some of the input costs producers had to pay last winter to keep enough feed on hand to feed their livestock, said Roxburg, a cattle producer from the Rimbey area in central Alberta, northwest of Red Deer.

There’s much more optimism among cattle producers than there was a year ago, he said.

“Just looking at the way things are today compared to last year maybe I would say we’re feeling a lot better about our situation,” said Roxburg.

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