Each year the Watershed District selects a farm family, group or individual to acknowledge those who demonstrate positive conservation principles and have undertaken conservation efforts over a number of years that have shown long-term benefits for the natural environment and society.
This year’s recipient for the 2021 SRWD Watershed District Award is GWM Farms – Darren Maddess & Family.
What is the Watershed District Award?
(formerly the Conservation Family Award)
In 1981 the Manitoba Association of Watersheds (MAW, formerly known as “Manitoba Conservation Districts Association” (MCDA) of which the SRWD (formerly known as Turtle Mountain Conservation District) is a member started the Watershed District Competition to recognize the efforts made by farmers towards conservation. Each Watershed District (WD) selected a farm family who actively promoted wise farm management and conservation practices on their farm. All WD farm families were judged on a provincial scale and one farm family was presented with the Syd Ransom* trophy to recognize the MAW Conservation Farm Family.
Each year Board or Sub-District members nominate deserving farm families and select one to be recognized by the SRWD. The following is the list of farm families that have been recognized by the SRWD over the years as well as those who were provincial winners.
In 2003 the MCDA terminated the provincial judging thereby eliminating a provincial winner and they changed the name to Conservation Family from Conservation Farm Family.
The transition from “MCDA” to “MAW” came after the 18 former conservation districts transitioned to 14 watershed districts in January of 2020. For more information on the benefits of this change and to learn about the new watershed districts, please visit Manitoba Association of Watersheds.
*The late Syd Ransom was a farmer and conservationist who resided in the Turtle Mountains southwest of Boissevain. He played a key role in the establishment and early operation of the TMCD and was the first chairman of the Turtle Mountain Conservation District.
Past Award Winners
- 1981 – Bob and Lori Gustafson (Provincial Winner)
- 1982 – Edward and Elfrida Andries (Provincial Winner)
- 1983 – Tom Scott
- 1984 – Ivan and Linda Carey
- 1985 – Frank and Doreen Smith
- 1986 – Tom and Doris Conroy
- 1987 – Barry and Helen Hole
- 1988 – Ross and Dorothy Hainsworth
- 1989 – Alfred and Maureen Epp
- 1990 – Ed Billiaert
- 1991 – Keith and Louise Scott (Provincial Winner)
- 1992 – Hilt Wallace Family (Provincial Winner)
- 1993 – Tom and Joan Stewart
- 1994 – Michael and Myna Cryderman
- 1995 – Don and Noreen Greig
- 1996 – Dwayne and Lynn Vanbeselaere
- 1997 – Glen and Doreen Hicks
- 1998 – David Day Family
- 1999 – Wayne and Adelyn Nichol
- 2000 – Dan and Heather Meggison (Provincial Winner)
- 2001 – Phil and Myrna Adams (Provincial Winner)
- 2002 – Duncan and Teresa Armstrong
- 2003 – Kevin and Glenda Archibald
- 2004 – Gerald and Margaret Whetter and Family
- 2005 – Dave and Donna Stewart Family
- 2006 – Todd and Julie Racher, Racher Acres Ltd.
- 2007 – Bill and Shirley McKinny, McFamco Ltd.
- 2008 – Kelly and Vanessa Vandoorne
- 2009 – David and Jeanette Neufeld
- 2010 – Killarney Lake Action Committee
- 2011 – Lloyd, Leanne Bugg & Family – Sleepy Creek Farm
- 2012 – Gord Weidenhamer & Family – CA Acres
- 2013 – McGee Livestock Ltd.
- 2014 – Rick Korman
- 2015 – Rick Schoonbaert – Twin Pines Farm
- 2017 – Matthew and Heather Heide – Heidensheep Acres
- 2018 – Gordon and Brenda Adams & Family – G & B Farms
- 2019 – Dan, Alana & Matt Van Steelandt – Triple V Ranch
- 2020 –
- 2021 – Darren Maddess & Family – GWM Farms