West Northfield farm named Woodland Owner of the Year

The provincial winner of the 2018 Woodland Owner of the Year Award is picking up the honour for a second time.

Kevin Veinotte and his family of West Northfield, Lunenburg Co. operate Out to Pasture Farm, a 162-hectare (400 acres) plot that combines their farm, forest and Christmas tree U-pick, and a recently added poultry processing plant.

"The Veinottes are pushing the forestry industry forward with innovative and sustainable practices," said Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin. "This award gives them the well-deserved recognition for their continued efforts. "Congratulations to the Veinottes for demonstrating exemplary practices in woodland management."

The family also won the award 11 years ago. Since then they have taken on new initiatives including developing a carbon management plan.

The Veinottes enjoy trying new things and share their experience and knowledge with other woodlot owners. Their livestock is sold at local farmers' markets, carrying on the tradition of living off the land. They work with forestry organizations to promote responsible ecosystem-based forest management, and have worked with Ducks Unlimited to establish duck ponds on their property.

There will be a public field day on the Vienotte property on Saturday, September 29.

"This award is important to me because it gives people the opportunity to view sustainable forestry and spend some time in the woods," said Mr. Veinotte. "We plan to keep working the farm and woodlot. It's very diversified and our work changes with the season. Variety is the spice of life."

The Department of Lands and Forestry has presented the Woodland Owner of the Year Award program since 1990. Nova Scotia residents who own 20 to 2,000 hectares (50 to 5,000 acres) of woodland are eligible for woodland owner awards.

Nominations are accepted at Department of Lands and Forestry offices until April 15 each year. More information is available on the department's website at www.novascotia.ca/natr/woodlot/woya .

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