Mathewsons Win Environmental Award

From the Truro Daily News December 1, 2012

Ruth and Greta Mathewson of Upperbrook Farm in North River received the environmental farm stewardship award here Thursday at the Nova Scotia Federation of Agricultural annual general meeting.

“As farmers it is our goal to leave the land better than we found it,” said Ruth Mathewson, in a news release.

The Mathewsons have been farming their 26-hectare piece of land in North River Valley for nearly 40 years and with rocky, rugged fields Upperbrook Farm relies heavily on pasture and forage to feed their 60 ewes, lambs and seven beef cattle.

The Mathewsons are taking advantage of Nova Scotia’s climate and terrain to implement a grass-based production system for their sheep. The grass-fed system is good for the sheep and even better for the environment.

“The Mathewson family has been well known to agriculture for some time working tirelessly to improve their farm and protect the environment,” said Beth Densmore, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture.

Lynda Weatherby, co-ordinator of the environmental farm stewardship award, praised the Mathewson’s “dedication and forward thinking.”

“They are determined to continue the legacy of farming on their property but only if they are able to do so as good stewards of the land,” she said. “It is of utmost importance to them that they leave the land to the next generation as it has to them.”

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. It was created through a partnership of the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Nova Scotia Environmental Farm Plan Team and the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture.