TRURO- “We consider the environment in all our business decisions,” says Wayne Oulton of W.G. Oulton & Sons Ltd. Whether they’re pasturing a new type of livestock or considering how to best store fuel on the farm, they research all projects to make sure they’re up to date with new technologies. For their hard work and dedication to making their farm “greener” with less labour input, the Oulton Family have been named the of 2011 Environmental Farm Stewards of the Year.
The Oulton family farm, located in the Martock area of Hants County, includes mixed livestock, orchards, woodlots, and an on farm abattoir providing employment for 16 full-time and 10 seasonal workers. A fourth generation farm with a mission to use sustainable agricultural and environmental practices and be exceptional caretakers of livestock in order to support the future generation and to provide a quality meat product.
Beth Densmore, President of Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture says, “The Oultons are wonderful ambassadors of agriculture.” The Oultons have been involved in various pilot projects for both the farm and processing facility around composting and wetlands. “Their leadership in environmental stewardship through such research is significant to moving the industry forward in best management practices.”
Erica Versteeg with EFP program says “After visiting the Oulton farm one can’t help but be impressed with the scale and diversity of this operation.” “This farm is a wonderful example of how biodiversity and farming can be beneficial to each other,” she adds. The Oulton family has not only embraced stewardship today but as the farm continues to change, stewardship and conservation will undoubtedly continue to be a valued part of the farms future.
“The Oulton family’s long-standing commitment to using agricultural resources in responsible and sustainable ways makes them true environmental stewards and worthy of this recognition,” said Agriculture Minister MacDonell. “I congratulate the family for their forward-thinking business model and dedication to making their farm business green.”
The Environmental Farm Stewardship Award was established to highlight producers who make good land, water and habitat stewardship a significant part of their farm operations. The Oultons will be able to make further environmental improvements to their farm with the award, which was announced during the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture’s annual banquet on November 24th. The award, complete with a hand painting of their farm was accepted by Wayne and Nicole on behalf of the Oulton family.
The Farm Environmental Stewardship Award is a part of the Environmental Farm Plan Program. It was created through a partnership of the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the NS Environmental Farm Plan Team and the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. The Environmental Farm Plan Program is an initiative under the Canada-Nova Scotia Growing Forward Agreement and is delivered by the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture.