Cute cows and clean water: you really can have it all!
Meet Roy and Carole Robinson: they raise sustainable, grass-fed Scottish highlander beef and grow seasonal vegetables on their farm near Smiths Falls, near the banks of the Rideau River.
The Robinsons founded Seanic Farms in 2003. As they've transitioned the old, dormant farmland into to a more environmentally-friendly operation, they've made great use of the RVCA's landowner stewardship programs, including our Rural Clean Water Grant program.
These grants are a pretty great deal: they offer up to 90% in funding for on-the-ground farm projects that improve or protect the quality of nearby waterways. Teaming up with rural landowners, financial support and technical assistance help reduce the amount of pollution and water running off the land. From contaminant storage to well and septic improvements to wetland management plans, these grants help farmers have a positive impact on their properties and in their communities.
The Robinsons are no stranger to the program. They recently received a grant to fence off a larger buffer zone between their adorable highland cattle and the creek connecting to the Rideau River that crosses through their property. They're also located inside a Source Water Protection Zone, and this buffer was part of the risk management plan RVCA staff helped develop to keep manure and other harmful nutrients out of the water.
Over the years, the grant program has also helped the Robinsons decommission a well, create a drainage ditch crossing, retire a section of fragile land and fence their cattle out of other wetlands on their property.
The couple sell their vegetables, grass-fed beef and various wood products at their farm gate year-round. They also offer Community-Shared Agriculture shares and sell their products at the Perth Farmers' Market throughout the growing season. But it's hard to imagine they don't also spend a lot of time just marveling at how cute their cows are!
For more information about Rural Clean Water Grants, visit https://www.rvca.ca/stewardship-grants/rural-clean-water-grants/about-clean-water-grants.