Ferintosh, Alta. – The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) has awarded Grass Roots Family Farm with the 2014 Canadian Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Award.
The annual award recognizes the contributions Canadian farmers make towards protecting pollinators and pollinator habitats.
Grass Roots is owned by the Coen family: Michael, Laura and son Takota.
The Coens have been practicing sustainable farming since the late 1980s. But recently Takota has started in investing in agroforestry on the family’s 250-acre farm.
Takota has diversified several acres of their farmland where livestock graze between rows of planted fruit, nut and timber trees.
The approach provides immense benefits for local wildlife, most notably pollinators that gain increased habitat and food supply.
To support the longevity of their forest farm, the Coens have also sought to involve the local community by creating a unique community supported agriculture method – where people purchase a share and over several years receive the value back in the form of nuts, fruit, honey, herbs, meat and more.
“As pollinators directly contribute to the production of one-third of the human diet, their importance to our ecosystems cannot be overlooked,” says Ron Bonnett, CFA’s president.
“I applaud Michael, Laura and Takota Coen for their innovation and significant investment towards improving pollinator habitat.”
Canada is home to more than 1,000 species of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, moths, bats and beetles, which are essential to the production of over $1 billion annually in Canadian produce such as apples, berries, squash, melons and much more. Recognizing the indispensable impact that these species have on our food system, Canadian farmers are constantly seeking long-term solutions to support the conservation of pollinators.
To learn more about Grass Roots Family Farm, visit: www.grassrootsfamilyfarm.ca