Cathy and Bryan Gilvesy

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Bryan and Cathy Gilvesy, environmentally-conscious cattle farmers, Photo by Laura Berman

Local Food Heroes 2008

Cathy & Bryan Gilvesy head Y U Ranch, a former tobacco farm that now raises Texas Longhorn cattle. Part of their income comes from employing Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) on their farm, a project in Norfolk County chaired by Bryan, which provides a new economic model for farm support. It is a voluntary, incentive based program that provides payments to farmers who demonstrate environmental sensitivity in their practices, such as converting marginal or inefficient farmland into native vegetative cover and wetlands, producing cleaner water, protecting biodiversity, etc.  Y U Ranch deserves recognition for pioneering this commitment to nature-friendly agriculture!

Unique Food System Problem

On a global scale, the current North American food supply and conventional agricultural practices are damaging the environment and promoting unhealthy food products, while wildlife habitats are being destroyed and the animals used in food production are subjected to unnatural living conditions.

Unique Food System Solution

The Gilvesys have converted their tobacco farmland into a ranch, have planted a field of prairie grass, from which the cattle feed naturally, and have installed a solar pump to provide water for their cattle. Today, Y U Ranch is a North American leader in sustainable agriculture. The Gilvesy’s farm has facilitated development of natural systems and wildlife habitats and they have fostered a healthy food supply by producing leaner beef for health conscious consumers.