Turner family recognized for conservation efforts

Though not active farmers, Val and Gordon Turner are keen stewards of their land

Val and Gordon Turner with their grandchildren.

The Redboine Watershed District (RBWD) is recognizing Gordon and Val Turner for their impact on the landscape through water and soil conservation programs.

“They are a very community-minded couple that has always been interested in conservation and nature,” said RBWD board member Reg Marginet.

“They have been such a benefit to our district. We are pleased to be able to showcase their efforts in soil and water conservation,” he added.

RBWD announced the Turners would receive the 2021 RBWD Conservation Award in a news release September 29.

Gordon and Val were married in 1974 and purchased Val’s family farm in 1994.

Gordon worked in construction most of his life. As a semi-retiree, he works at seed potato company Swansfleet Alliance.

Val was CAO for RM of Lorne for over 20 years. She has been retired since 2008. They have three children and seven grandchildren.

Although Gordon and Val weren’t active farmers, they were always looking at ways to protect and improve their land, said RBWD. The Turners worked with the watershed district to implement projects like an erosion control program, riparian-area protection and management, off-site watering systems, cover crops and small water-retention projects.

They were also the first applicants to the RBWD GROW program, funded through the provincial GROW Trust.

“The Turners are enthusiastic and forward-thinking landowners,” said Jennifer Corvino, RBWD GROW co-ordinator. “Their commitment to the health of the watershed is very evident in the practices they implement.”

The Turners are also keen to share conservation information, RBWD said.

“If given the opportunity, I will always share and pass any information to other landowners. We have to work together,” said Gordon. “I also take great pride in being a landowner and I think it is very important to help preserve the land for future generations. I feel very fortunate to have had the assistance on many projects from Redboine Watershed District.”

Gordon and Val will be recognized at the Manitoba Association of Watersheds Annual Conference in Brandon in December.

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