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ALUS announces producer innovation award recipients


September 7, 2021
By ALUS (edited)

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ALUS (originally an acronym for Alternative Land Use Services) has announced the recipient of the 2021 Dave Reid Award, in the amount of $10,000: Duane Movald, ALUS Brazeau participant and chair of its Partnership Advisory Committee (PAC) since the program launched in Brazeau County, Alta., in 2016.

“Through his commitment to stewardship, Duane embodies ALUS as a movement of farmers and ranchers seeking ways to improve their land and their communities,” said Bryan Gilvesy, CEO, ALUS, in a press release.

Owner and operator of Movald Ranches, Duane Movald has been a vocal advocate for the ALUS program, sharing its benefits for farmers and ranchers and its successes with the environment.

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“The ALUS program is truly like no other. Farmers receive acknowledgement for the environmental work that they are doing, work that benefits the greater good of all society,” Movald said.

He and his family were among the first to complete a project with ALUS Brazeau. Now a few years into their ALUS riparian management project, there are noticeable changes to the land encompassed by the project.

New tree saplings have emerged along the bank of the watercourse, banks that were previously slumping and without vegetation. These trees help stabilize the banks, preventing topsoil erosion, which can foul the water and diminish the land. The stabilized banks and the root system of the trees also helps mitigate the impacts of flood.

The Movalds now utilize that project area as a pasture cell, which only sees light grazing when necessary. This usage enables a greater diversity of plant species to develop and grow on the land. These plants help mitigate waterflow, capture sediment and provide cleaner water downstream.

Formerly known as the ALUS Canada Producer Innovation Award, the Dave Reid Award has previously been presented to Marc Bercier (ALUS Ontario East) in 2020, Tom Towers (ALUS Red Deer County) in 2019, Joe Csoff (ALUS Norfolk) in 2018 and Gerry Taillieu (ALUS Parkland) in 2016.

This year, the Dave Reid award recognized three runners up. Sarah Hargreaves and Drake Larsen, ALUS Elgin, and Olivier Martin, ALUS Montérégie.

Drake and Sarah, co-owners and educators at Three Ridges Ecological Farm, were recognized in part for their innovative and complex wetland and their warm season pasture. These ecosystem projects complement one another, providing an enhanced capability for critical wildlife habitat, preventing erosion and filtering surface and ground water.

“We are grateful for our ALUS community and their support for the stewardship projects on our farm. The financial support is a nice acknowledgement of the time and effort that conservation practices take to establish and maintain,” Drake said.

ALUS Montérégie participant Olivier Martin owns and operates Ferme Gestion Petit Manoir Inc. Martin was recognized for his ambassadorship on behalf of the ALUS Montérégie program and for his ambitious ecosystem projects, including a double-row multi-species hedge comprised of trees, shrubs and other herbaceous plants that functions as a buffer and wildlife corridor between his agricultural land and a neighbouring woodland.

“As a farmer, it’s important to me to ensure the sustainability of the land and water for my daughters so they can enjoy it in the future. ALUS is helping me accomplish that,” Martin said.