ALUS Canada and The W. Garfield Weston Foundation presented two Innovation Awards, each worth $10,000, during an awards presentation held at Y U Ranch in Tillsonburg, Ontario. The Innovation Awards recognize researchers and producers of ecosystem services on Canadian farms and ranches.
The winner of the Weston Family Ecosystem Innovation Award for 2018 is Dr. Wanhong Yang, a professor in the department of geography at the University of Guelph who has pioneered innovative research in modelling and quantifying environmental benefits of on-ground conservation projects.
“Through my research, and by bringing scientific evidence and tools to bear on the ALUS program, I hope to help move its innovative work forward to another level over the next few years,” said Dr. Yang.
The Weston Family Ecosystem Innovation Award, which recognizes researchers or ALUS Canada partners for excellence and innovation in scientific research, monitoring or verification of ecosystem services on working farmlands, was presented by Camilla Dalglish, director, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation.
“Dr. Yang’s research offers much-needed insights into measuring the benefits of wetlands for the broader public good,” said Dalglish. “My family’s foundation is pleased to honour him with this award, recognizing his dedication to the conservation of Canada’s agricultural watersheds.”
ALUS Canada CEO Bryan Gilvesy presented this year’s ALUS Canada Producer Innovation Award to Joe Csoff, who has been involved with the ALUS Norfolk program since its inception, first as a participant, then also as a PAC member, farmer liaison, teacher, and mentor.
“When it comes to the environment, everyone’s got to try to do their part. For my part, I’ve helped to get more people to do the right thing. I’m happy to be the key to get that motor started,” said Csoff.
The ALUS Canada Producer Innovation Award recognizes participating farmers and ranchers who are excellent stewards of the land and who have done innovative work in producing ecological services on their farms through the ALUS program. In future, the ALUS Canada Producer Innovation Award will be renamed the Dave Reid ALUS Producer Innovation Award, in honour of Reid, an ALUS pioneer whose retirement was announced following the presentation ceremony.