Pictured from left to right:
Ohio Livestock Coalition Executive Director David White,
Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Robert Boggs, Gene Ray,
Carol Ray, Kim Ray and Shawn Ray.

COLUMBUS -- Ray Family Farm, of Cumberland, recently received the 2010 Ohio Sheep Improvement Association's Environmental Stewardship Award at the Ohio Livestock Coalition's (OLC) 13th Annual Meeting. The annual award recognizes the many accomplishments made by family farmers to protect Ohio's land, air and water quality and conserve the state's natural resources.

"Ray Family Farm has raised sheep for many years and has consistently demonstrated that their commitment to quality extends not only to the animals they raise, but also to the environmental practices they implement daily on the farm," said David White, OLC executive director. "The farm is an exemplary representation of the goals that the Coalition has for all livestock farmers."

The Ray Family Farm operates two adjoining farms totaling 180 acres and raises 100 ewes each year. Many conservation practices have been applied to the farm including the installation of heavy-use area pads to help with feeding during bad weather and access roads to help with mud control and ease of moving animals. Additionally, woodland fence, cross fencing for rotational grazing, frost-free water tanks, frost-free hydrants, and brush management are some of the practices that have been implemented on the farm in the last 18 years.