Penticton (Rural Roots Canada) – The Bar 7 Ranch in Rock Creek, B.C., is the winner of the Canadian Cattle Association‘s Environment Stewardship Award for 2022.

Doug and Erika Fossen, who own and operate Bar 7 Ranch, are being recognized for their proactive rangeland management, fire mitigation efforts on government pastures, supporting wildlife biodiversity, and focus on enhancing soil health.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia farm named winner of environmental stewardship award

Erika says it’s a huge honour to win the award.

“We worked towards this and had a goal of it when we were much younger at the beginning of our ranching career, so we’re just ecstatic,” she says.

It’s a family affair at Bar 7. Erika and Doug ranch alongside their three daughters, Adele, Jade and Reine, and their parents. The family approach to running their operation, and proper stewardship practices, are at the heart of what they do.

“The only way we’ve been able to continue farming is to have our family involved. They’ve supported us financially and by working hard on the farm,” Doug says.

Chair of the C-C-A’s Environment Committee, Duane Thompson, says the Fossen’s are deeply invested in the long-term history of the land.

“They’re operating in an environment with so little rainfall and the good work they’ve done establishing water systems in remote locations where cattle don’t have to go back to the creeks,” says Thompson.

“They’re doing a great job and are great ambassadors for our industry.”

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Thompson says all of the nominees from across the country are great examples of people who run their operations in a way that’s environmentally and economically sustainable.