John and Adele Popp who operate a beef operation in the Municipality of Clanwilliam-Erickson are the recipients of the Little Saskatchewan Conservation District 2018 award for their land stewardship practices.
The couple has owned Popp Farms Ltd. since 1998, a farm started by John’s parents in 1983, and today farm with their children Viktor and Hanna.
The couple was given the award for recognizing the value of knowing their land and their adoption of a ‘think different, think fresh’ which encompasses an adaptive management philosophy and implementation of practices that revolve around managing their grass, feed, water, soil and cattle. The results are a product of how each resource is managed.
Rotational grazing is used, with off-site watering systems using wetlands, small lakes and a man-made pond created after a small dam was constructed in a waterway. The farm bale grazes in winter to distribute nutrients from the cattle onto their land.
Adele has been incorporating her knowledge of soil biology into composting practices. John’s background and expertise in economics is deployed in feed management.
Viktor is studying at University of Manitoba and Hanna is a high school student at Erickson Collegiate and they are part of the farm team, involved in fencing and setting up of the water systems. Both are members of Erickson 4-H Beef Club.
The family hosts tours of their farm and enjoys talking about their work and land stewardship with rural and urban audiences.