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2009 Environmental Stewardship Award Winner

Region I: Young’s Cattle Co., Belmont, Ohio

Rick & Jayne Young - Nominated by Ohio Cattlemen’s Association & Belmont Soil and Water Conservation District

Ohio Cattle Operation Wins Regional Environment Award

 

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Young’s Cattle Co. of Belmont, Ohio, is a 2009 Environmental Stewardship Award winner.  Representing NCBA Region I, the Northeast, the family was recognized at the 2009 Cattle Industry Summer Conference for their “whole-farm” commitment to protecting the area’s natural resources.

Rick Young grew up in the cattle industry working at his family’s Moundsville Livestock Auction yard and the family farm and purchased a herd of 35 cows from which he began to buy, sell and broker cattle.  After marrying his wife, Jayne, Rick continued working for American Electric Power while Jayne was the main herdsman and homemaker.  Realizing their true passion for the beef industry, they traded their first home for Rick’s parent’s home farm, where they ran a small herd and rented approximately 1,500 acres to run stocker cattle.

Further expanding on their dreams, in 1995 they sold their home farm in West Virginia and bought 283 acres and leased an additional 2,500 acres.  Today, they maintain 400 cow-calf pairs and turn 5,000 head of stocker cattle annually on their 3,283 acres of reclaimed strip mined soil.

“The Young’s are what you would call everyday environmentalists,” said Dave Petty, chairman of the Environmental Stewardship Award selection committee and 2001 national award winner. “Their first priority was to develop an extensive conservation plan to protect water quality, improve soil health, develop healthy forest areas and improve wildlife habitat.  The Young’s commitment to doing the right thing is evident.”

The Environmental Stewardship Award – now in its 19th year – is an initiative of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, with funding from Dow AgroSciences and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

“They open their facilities for grazing meetings, to the public and for training sessions,” said Beverly Riddle, program administrator of the Belmont Soil & Water Conservation District.  The Youngs have implemented a number of practices aimed at protecting and improving the land upon which they make a living. These include:

  • Installed 20,000 fence posts and 628,000 feet of high tensile fence to divide the fields into 57 paddocks that are rotated weekly
  • Developed 16 heavy use pads for feeding during potential erosion periods to eliminate soil loss
  • Developed 14 springs using re-cycled tire tanks.  15,000 feet of pressurized water lines have been installed to provide clean water in each paddock
  • Fenced cattle out of 16 ponds and streams on the property while installing 4 stream crossings to minimize erosion
  • Fenced cattle from heavily wooded areas to protect forests and wildlife areas
  • Worked with Synagro Central LLC to develop nutrient management permits that are submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for bio-solids application approval
  • Provided habitat for Canadian geese, ducks, white-tail deer, and wild turkeys through such practices as delayed clipping and rotational grazing

Young’s Cattle Co. was nominated for the Environmental Stewardship Award by the Belmont Soil and Water Conservation District and the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, with which the family has partnered to apply conservation and protection practices. In addition, the Young’s have partnered with USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service; the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency; Moundsville FFA; Marshall County Fair Board; Kentucky Extension Service; Ohio State University; Buckeye Hills Resource; Conservation and Development Council; and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources-Division of Mineral Resources.

“Rick and Jayne are proof that environmental and economic sustainability go hand-in-hand. They have built a successful business while also doing their part to protect and enhance the natural resources that sustain this industry” said Petty.

The Environmental Stewardship Award has recognized the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of U.S. cattle producers for almost two decades. Regional and national award winners are honored for their commitment to protecting the environment and improving fish and wildlife habitat while operating profitable cattle operations. For information or to nominate a cattle operation, visit the Award section.

The National Cattlemen's Foundation advances the future of the beef industry with passion and urgency for the benefit of consumers and cattlemen.

 
 
 
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