Land Stewardship and the Farmer Workshop

Start Date
End Date


Kim Jo Bliss, RRDS Member

Redefining the Role of the Farmer in Environmental Wellness

by Bryan Gilvesy

After graduating from the Richard Ivey School of Business at University of Western Ontario, Bryan became the proprietor of the Y U Ranch, an award winning ranch, located in Norfolk County, Ontario. While Bryan produces Local Food Plus certified beef at the Y U Ranch, he is also the Chairman of the Norfolk County ALUS Pilot Project and Co-Chair of the Sustain Ontario Steering Committee, coalition for good food and farming. In 2009, Bryan received the International Texas Longhorn Association Breeder of the Year award. He was also the 2008 recipient of the Canadian Agri-Food Award of Excellence for Environmental Stewardship and 2007 recipient of the Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation.


Bryan will be speaking to the experiences of a Norfolk Country community group that has been working on the Alternative Land Use Services pilot program and his personal reflection on the contribution farmers can make to environmental wellness going forward.
"It seems to me we passed a threshold sometime recently where whatever we've been doing environmentally as a society to counteract the problems created by growth and our heavy ecological footprint has not been enough. The time has come to recognize that the farmers and ranchers of Canada must be considered key environmental solution providers if we wish to solve problems like wildlife habitat losses and species at risk. This must involve engagement of the farm community and a recognition of the skills farmers can bring to conservation. By merging the interests of the farmers with environmental interests, we can create ecological solutions beneficial to all the people of Ontario." - Bryan Gilvesy

Our Communities: Living on the Edge

by John Van Den Broeck


This short presentation will explore the unique continental position of the westend of Fort Frances District and relate broader landscape, climate and historic glacial patterns to species colonization and biodiversity in our area; including representation of southern, western, eastern and northern species living at the fringe of their range. After hearing this presentation, some local Rainy River residents have described this phenomenon as the "perfect storm" reflecting how unusual our circumstances are. The objective is to increase awareness of local biodiversity, which for many residents may not be immediately recognized as noteworthy from the broader Ontario perspective.

Farming and Species at Risk Conservation

One of the most frequently asked questions about Species at Risk (SAR) is "what species are on the endangered species list and where are they found?" This presentation will focus on local SAR that are relevant to farmers. By examining the species in the area, the habitat they use and the inter-relationship with farming practices it will become clear that the agricultural mosaic is an important contributor to Species at Risk conservation. This session is intended to open dialogue on the Endangered Species Act, 2007 as it pertains to farming and collectively share information and experiences with the species of interest outlined in the presentation.

In partnership with

  • Ainsworth Engineered Canada LP
  • Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources