October 2023 – Mike Swidersky and family, of Riverview Ranch Meat Co. in Melancthon, Dufferin County are the recipients of the 2023 Ontario Sheep Pasture Award. The award, sponsored by MAPLESEED, the Ontario Forage Council, and the Ontario Sheep Farmers, was presented today. Mike will be awarded $250 and a bag of forage seed for his exceptional pasture management.
Mike and his wife, Amber own the farm and operate it with their two children, Warren and Grace. Mike and Amber established the farm in 2003 after completing Agricultural programs at the University of Guelph. Mike has spent the past 17 years honing the farm’s production practices and stewarding the land, raising and growing their flock of sheep supported by Amber who has experience in the animal nutrition industry.
Warren and Grace are interested in taking over the farm and making it a second-generation operation. This means adapting the farm in years to come to make it sustainable for multiple families. Warren and Grace both invested in a ewe with their own money over 10 years ago; since that time they have been developing their own flocks within the Riverview Ranch flock.
The Swidersky’s are passionate about holistic and pasture management. Mike notes that “The core focus of the farm is sustainability, soil health and integrity. All decisions made on the farm are made with the health of the pasture, soil, and the animals in mind.”
Sharing ideas and successful best management tips are ways producers pass on experience to, not only new and novice producers, but to the entire industry. Thank you to the Swidersky family for representing these practices and sharing their story!