at the University of Calgary
In 2018, J.C. (Jack) Anderson and his daughter Wynne Chisholm donated W.A. Ranches to the University of Calgary, fundamentally transforming education and research at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM). The university will continue to operate the ranch - now called W.A. Ranches at the University of Calgary - for the purposes of teaching and learning, research, and community engagement.
Students and faculty across many disciplines and from around the world will benefit directly from access to a working ranch. The study of cattle in the complex, real-farm context will enable research that can improve management practices for ranchers as well as academic programming that produces better veterinarians with more hands-on experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Matt Williams, General Manager, Ranch Operations is responsible for the overall management of the ranch and supporting farming operation, providing operational, strategic and financial leadership based on his 40+ years of ranching experience. Academic and research programming is led by the Director of W.A. Ranches at the University of Calgary - Dr. Ed Pajor, PhD, Professor (Animal Behavior and Welfare) and Anderson-Chisholm Chair in Animal Care and Welfare.
The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at UCalgary is the most research-intensive veterinary faculty in Canada. The addition of W.A. Ranches to the university ecosystem will enable interdisciplinary research and education unlike anywhere else in North America. Work at the ranch will focus primarily on applied research for the beef cattle industry that is health- and welfare-oriented. However, it will also facilitate cross-faculty initiatives to improve overall animal health, human health and environmental outcomes. Students, faculty and those from the broader community will be able to learn about the complex relationships between cattle, people and the environment in a real-world setting, while pioneering advancements that could significantly impact the ranching industry.
The ranch will allow the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine to educate DVM students in an integrated programmatic manner. For example, in the context of cow/calf operations, students will not only be able to look at the health of the calves and their mothers, but they will also look at the sustainability of the environment. Specific details about academic and clinical programs and services will be determined following consultations with key stakeholders and community members.
W.A. Ranches at the University of Calgary will serve as a platform for local, national and international outreach for knowledge generation and translation, and will support youth in agriculture programs. It will also allow opportunities for researchers and the beef industry to share advances in cattle health and build relationships with urban communities.