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Date: 8/1/2014

Title: Sherwood Acres Farm Earns Regional Environmental Award

Sherwood Acres Farm Earns Regional Environmental Award

Denver, Colo. – Sherwood Acres Farm of LaGrange, Ky., was honored today as one of seven regional Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) winners. The award, which is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, is presented to farmers and ranchers who are working hard to protect America’s natural resources.

With a total of 150 acres owned in two tracts, Jon and Sylvia Bednarski, owners of Sherwood Acres Farm face conservation challenges due to the rolling landscape, steep slopes and flood plains within the multiple creeks and streams that cross the property. With an interest in preserving wildlife habitat, the wooded areas were fenced off from cattle and even in the pastures shared by cattle, wildlife is abundant as a result of the stewardship efforts implemented by the Bednarski family.

“When we meet with customers at the multiple farmer’s markets we attend, our buyers have questions that need to be addressed, ranging from how we are protecting and preserving the land to animal welfare and how and what we feed our cattle,” said Jon Bednarski.

The ranch sits atop the Harrods Creek Watershed and the headwaters of the Little Kentucky River. The two tracts of land are integral to the beef cattle operation and share many of the same restraints in terms of land use and land use management. Significant streams dissect both parcels of land and the impact of management decisions on these streams dictates the management strategies on the operation.

Fencing strategies have played a tremendous role in being able to improve the natural resources, especially in terms of water quality. Utilizing electric fences to further subdivide fields with permanent boundaries has enable the farm to better utilize forages and to extend the forage growing seasons for grazing animals. Through rotational and prescribed grazing methods the Bednarskis have created better utilization of in-the-field animal waste, better recovery of forages and more opportunities to utilize fields that may have limitations. This has also resulted in lower soil compaction within the pastures.

“Jon actively promotes agricultural awareness and educates the non-agricultural public about how farming and conservation go hand-in-hand,” said Traci Missun, University of Kentucky extension agent for agriculture and natural resources. “Whether he is serving on a food industry panel for middle school students or helping organize, host and teach Conservation District and Extension activities, Jon’s passion for conservation is hard to miss.”

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