Conservation District Award


The Robins Family

 

The Robins family has a long relationship with the land. The first generation settled in the area in the early 1890s. Today, three generations reside on the farm: Brian and Arlene, Clayton and Rebecca, and Quinn.

This mixed farm family operation is located in Riverdale Municipality within the Little Saskatchewan River Watershed. Each generation recognizes that the land has to be used for what it is best suited. The bush, wetlands, and the sandy and loam soils that make up the natural assets of the farm have their own unique characteristics.

Each generation of the Robins family has made their own stewardship mark on the farm. The shelterbelt trees that Brian and Arlene planted in years past now provide shelter and prevent erosion. Brian’s hobby of raising wild fowl has augmented local populations of wild turkeys and ring-necked pheasants. ACC students have visited the farm to assist with banding birds prior to their release.

Managing the environmental impact of the cows has been achieved by adopting rotational grazing, controlled river crossings, riparian fencing, and off-site watering. The plants, soil, and cows are all part of the system to have resiliency in the soil. Using regenerative agricultural practices, Clayton has experimented with a variety of annual and perennial forage species to build a resilient production system. The forage species selected are used to build the soil and address saline areas while producing high energy forages. Soil testing is a tool used to understand the observations of the various plant species mixes used. As a 2013 Nuffield scholar, Clayton acquired a global perspective on what he was looking to achieve in his farm operation. His work with the Canadian Society of Animal Science and the International Symposium Committee for Forages and Pastures supports the progress being made with management improvements on the farm.

Now into the fifth generation, Quinn has a breadth of knowledge acquired from the generations that preceded him and his own life experiences. Together with his dad, Clayton, Quinn completed the environmental farm plan workbook. They saw an EFP as a tool to learn about and grow the farm. The process facilitated the transfer of knowledge from one generation to the next and helped him to understand why things were done as they were. The skills and perspectives that he has gained through the 4-H program and his agribusiness diploma have provide him with an understanding that there are multiple ways to achieve a goal.

The Little Saskatchewan River Conservation District is honoured to recognize the Robins family as our 2017 Conservation Award recipient.

 


Past CD Award Recipients

2016 – Rivers Wetland Centre of Excellence
2015 – Gord and Margaret Hammell
2013 – Charles and Meriel Tavernor – Parkland Ridge Farm
2012 – Clear Lake Golf Course
2011 – Huculak Stock Farms – Larry, Wanda, Megan, Madison
2010 – Raven Creek Farm – Roger & Cathy Desiléts and Family
2009 – Iain & Helen Deans
2008 – Blanshard Holsteins – The Heapy’s
2007 – Alan & Barbara Dalrymple & Family
2006 – Prairie Oasis – Doug & Karen Northam & Family
2005 – Riding Mountain Guest Ranch – Jim & Candy Irwin
2004 – Lepp Farms/Redline Enterprises
2003 – Wedderburn Family Farm
2002 – Bridgeman Land & Livestock Ltd.
2001 – Horner Farm
2000 – Valley View Farms – Harold & Patricia Dyck, Matthew, Kaitlyn, Julie
1999 – The McNabb Family – Bob, Elaine, Dana, Lauren, Robert, Michael