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Drinkable Water - from Livestock Manure

An article entitled “Drinkable Water – From Livestock Manure” received a great deal of interest when it was published in the Globe & Mail on June 26.  The story features a project that is one of four semi-finalists in the Globe’s  Small Business Challenge Contest.

The article starts off: “General audiences might cringe watching a video that shows Ross Thurston, president of Calgary-based Livestock Water Recycling Inc., drinking water produced from treated hog manure.

But livestock farmers will probably say, “Genius.”

Mr. Thurston’s company builds and installs systems that treat hog and cow manure, separating solids and phosphorus, extracting and concentrating ammonium and, finally, discharging water that’s clean enough to drink.”

You can read the whole article at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-growth/the-challenge/drinkable-water-from-livestock-manure/article12810772/#dashboard/follows/

Micah Shearer-Kudel, Environmental Coordinator for Farm & Food Care Ontario, is working on many water quality initiatives funded through the Water Resource Adaptation Management Initiative (WRAMI). He submitted the following letter to the editor to the Globe and Mail:

The editor:

Drinkable water from livestock manure seems like a bad sci-fi movie theme, but is really a practical example of how today’s farmers are innovative environmentalists.  For example, Ontario farmers have invested $220 million dollars in environmental improvements on their farms in the past six years through Environmental Farm Plan projects. 

Saving soil, planting trees or funding plant research doesn’t usually make the news, but they are all excellent examples of commitments made by farmers that help people, animals and the planet. 

 

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Posted by Farm and Food Care on July 22nd, 2013 :: Filed under Environment,Environmental Farm Plan,Pigs,Research,Water Quality and Conservation
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How we make Earth Day every day on our farms

4-H leader Jeanine Moyer asked her 4-H members this summer, how their families make every day Earth Day on their farm. All are members of the Eramosa 4-H Beef Club in Ontario. Here are the responses she received from these young environmentalists:

How we make Earth Day every day on our farms:

Members of the Eramosa 4-H beef club

Luke, age 14

We make every day Earth Day on our family farm by registering for an Environmental Farm Plan and by recycling all materials that are recyclable. There are just a few examples of ways we make our farm environmentally friendly.

Edward, age 19

A lot of our feed supplies come in plastic or cardboard containers and we recycle these each day.

Valerie, age 18

We make our own feed for our 4-H calves every two weeks. To transport the feed from the mixer to our barn we put it into 40 kg feed bags. Since we don’t buy a lot of feed in 40 kg bags we reuse these bags for as long as possible, year after year. Not only do we use these bags for feed, but we also use them to collect garbage in the barn. Reusing these bags is something that we do on our farm to make everyday Earth Day.

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Posted by FFC on October 12th, 2012 :: Filed under 4-H,Agricultural Advocates,Agriculture Education,Beef cattle,Canada,Earth Day,Environment,Environmental Farm Plan,Farm life,Uncategorized
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Meet the face of September in the Faces of Farming calendar

 by Patricia Grotenhuis

Farming is just in the blood for some people, as is the case with Jim Patton, a sixth-generation farmer from near Alliston.

Patton was not always sure he was going to farm.  He decided to attend the University of Guelph after doing a project on the importance of agriculture in his final year of high school.  He graduated with a diploma in agricultural business, and returned to the farm. 

Broiler breeder farmer Jim Patton

Once Patton returned to the farm, he began making changes to modernize the family’s business.  Patton is featured as the month of September in the 2012 Faces of Farming Calendar, published by the Farm Care Foundation, because of his dedication to making improvements. 

In 1998, Patton began keeping broiler breeder chickens. These are roosters as well as the hens who lay fertilized eggs that will hatch into chickens raised for meat. In 2000 he added raising pullets (young hens) to the farm.  In addition to the birds, Patton also grows corn, soybeans and wheat.  He makes it a point to go to as many industry conferences and workshops as he can, including a three-day training course at the University of Alberta and a no-till(age) conference in Cincinnati.  He sets a personal goal to bring at least one idea home to implement on the farm from each event that he attends. This interest has also led him to the Innovative Farmers of Ontario association – where he now serves as a director.

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Posted by FFC on September 19th, 2012 :: Filed under Broiler Breeders,Chickens,Education and public awareness,Environmental Farm Plan,Family vs factory farming,Farm life,Innovative Farmers of Ontario,Pullets,Uncategorized
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Studying is regular routine for farmers

by Patricia Grotenhuis, lifelong farmer and agricultural advocate

There is a lot of studying which goes into farming. 

Many farmers today have a college diploma or university degree.  Some even have graduate degrees.  Even after school, though, farmers have to constantly update their knowledge to stay on top of the latest research findings and newest technology.

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Posted by FFC on April 12th, 2011 :: Filed under Dairy cattle,Education and public awareness,Environmental Farm Plan,Farm life,Innovation and technology
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Caring for the Land

 By Patricia Grotenhuis, lifelong farmer and agricultural enthusiast

January 4, 2021 - It is common for consumers to have questions about farming practices and a farmer’s care for the environment.  With an industry as diverse as agriculture, no one (not even those who work in it) can be expected to understand all aspects of it completely.  In addition, there are so many different ways to farm that no two farms are ever alike.

The vast majority of farms do have some commonalities.  Aside from managing large amounts of work with limited resources and always being expected to produce more from less, the most noticeable similarity is a farmer’s genuine care for his or her animals and for the environment.

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Posted by FFC on January 4th, 2011 :: Filed under Environmental Farm Plan,Farm life,Regulations,Research,Sustainability of the family farm