Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) has recognized five farms in southwestern Manitoba for outstanding agronomy in establishing perennial forages, awarding $10,000 in cash prizes to the landowners. 

“DUC’s mission is to make farms more profitable and sustainable,” explains Alex Griffiths, lead agrologist for the Forage Program in Manitoba. “We are thrilled to celebrate the achievements of these top producers who increased biodiversity on their land by converting cropland to grass and pasture.” 

Winning farms were judged to have the highest plant density and plant height, forage diversity and lack of weeds in new acres seeded in 2023 through DUC’s Forage Program.  

Manitoba’s Top 5 Forage Establishment winners are: 


·         Anna and Haydn Donohoe, Malarky Farms Ltd, Basswood MB 

·         Steven Sawchuk, Rossburn MB 

·         David Collier, Jim Lane Ltd, Birtle MB 

·         Gerald Wildfang, Manasseh Fleckvieh Angus Farm, St. Claude MB 

·         Kevin Bridgeman, K & J Bridgeman Farms Ltd, Binscarth MB 


“The 70 acres we put down to forage had been crop land for past years,” says Kevin Bridgeman, who operates a horse and cattle ranch with his son. "Working with Ducks Unlimited Canada has been great. We appreciate their input throughout the process. They were knowledgeable about the soil conditions in our area and the weather situation we had experienced during the growing season.” 

Farmers use perennial forages to feed livestock, but other benefits include reducing soil compaction, building organic matter in fields and increasing water-holding capacity. 

DUC’s Forage Program pays participants $125 per acre to plant forages.  

 “We have worked with hundreds of farmers in southwest Manitoba over the past decade and established over 37,000 acres of forages,” says Griffiths. “Our success with forages is science-backed and field tested.”