Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence

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2008 Niagara-on-the-Lake Regional Award Winner


Featherstone Vineyard – Vineland

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Kim Craitor, MPP for Niagara Falls; Louise Engel

Kim Craitor, MPP for Niagara Falls; Louise Engel

Featherstone Vineyard deserves a feather in its cap for using nature’s balances to safeguard its grape crop. Louise Engel is the first vineyard owner in Ontario to use birds of prey to protect the 23-acre vineyard from the ravages that small birds can inflict on the grape crop. It’s an environmentally sound way of deterring nuisance birds from valuable, high-density crops such as grapes, blueberries, raspberries and cherries. One raptor is capable of controlling up to 50 acres. Engel underwent a required two-year apprenticeship program to become a licensed falconer — an investment of time that is paying dividends in terms of crop protection.

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