Ranching with Bees at YU

As you may have guessed, sustainable beef production means thinking outside of the feed lot. That�s aA�given. The landscape conservation ethic practiced at Y U Ranch inA�Oxford County, takes this to the next level though� thinking outside the farm, field and even the province.

For those who don’t know YU’s history, Bryan Gilvesy, and his wife Cathy, started farming tobacco in Norfolk County inA�1979. A declining tobacco market signaled the move to cattle ranching. TheyA�have been raising Texas Longhorns ever since.

If you haven’t visited the farm and met the herd, you should be adding it to your list for 2014. A� Bryan will gladly show you around and introduce you to his long-horned ladies. A�It’s also a great opportunity to pick up some of the wickedly delicious beef-jerky developed by his kids.

What does this have to do with bees? In 1998, they put in a 2000 ftA�pollinator hedgerow and bee nesting habitat on their property after being inspired at theA�PollinationA�Guelph symposium.

So, naturally, you’re thinking to yourself, Beef doesn�t require pollination. A�That’s true–but the additional on-site and off-site benefitsA�and ecosystem services provided by bees, butterflies, moths, and beetles, improve the local ecology.

According to Bryan, things just seem to run better, and this translates into food that just tastes and feels better.

Y U Ranch is a North American leader in sustainable agriculture. On top of their bee-loved bee hedge, their beef is also Local Food Plus (LFP)A�certified. A�This means that the total picture of food production including environmental protection, wildlifeA�enhancement, energy efficiency, and sustainable local food is considered.

Bryan has been recognized for his great work on the farm and in the community with a variety of awards,A�including the 2008 Canadian Agri-Food Award of Excellence For Environmental Stewardship, the 2008A�Toronto Food Policy Council Local Food Hero Award, the 2007 Premier�s Award For Agri-food Innovation,A�the 2006 Norfolk Soil and Crop Association Soil and Water Conservation Award, among others.

TheA�Pollinator Partnership � Canadian Federation of Agriculture Canadian Farmer-Rancher PollinatorA�Advocate Award can now be added to this extensive list.

Without pollinators we would loose one third of our diet, nearly all of our high-nutrient food, mostA�terrestrial ecosystems would collapse, important plant species that provide the raw materials forA�medicines would die out, and the biosphere would stop filtering air and freshwater for us and otherA�wildlife. No big deal right? I think not.

Factors such as uncontrolled development, agricultural intensification, chemical misuse, andA�pathogen introduction are decimating their populations. A�The Canadian Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Advocate Award recognizes individuals who have contributedA�significantly to pollinator protection, conservation, and issue outreach resulting in increased awareness ofA�the importance of pollinators and pollination within the agricultural community.

Congratulations to Bryan, Cathy and the entire YU Ranch team!

About The Pollinator Partnership

The Pollinator Partnership, the largest organization in the world dedicated to the protection and promotion of pollinators andA�their ecosystems, is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization headquartered in San Francisco. Pollinator Partnership has offices andA�activities in Washington D.C., Louisiana, Nebraska, Iowa, Montana, Ohio, Arizona, Washington, and Canada.

To learn more about the NAPPC and the Pollinator Partnership visit Pollinator.org or contact info@pollinator.org for moreA�information or call 415-362-1137.

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