W.A. Ranches’ mission is to conduct applied research aimed at improving cattle welfare, health and management to achieve sustainable/regenerative agriculture. Research activities are integrated into the day-to-day ranching practices, leveraging transdisciplinary collaborations across campus and the community.

For information about conducting research at the ranch, see Information for Researchers

Ongoing Projects

Evaluating the use of remote monitoring technology to identify behaviours associated with bulls that parent more calves in a breeding group.

Years Study Conducted: 2020-2021

PI: Ed Pajor/ Jennifer Pearson |

Completed Projects

Investigating ways of supporting calf health at the ranch for potential benefits to health, welfare, and economics when they move into feedlots. The study includes comparison of these ranch calves to typical auction sourced calves, including different ways of grouping them at the feedlot.

Years Study Conducted: 2019-2023

PI: Karin Orsel

Evaluating calf responses to roping and wrestling, roping and Nord Forks, or tilt tables for restraint during spring processing. Live animal portion of project evaluating public, industry, and calf perspectives of calf restraint practices.

Years Study Conducted: 2021

PI: Ed Pajor

A pilot study to evaluate feasibility of remote monitoring of newborn calf behavior in extensive pasture conditions, including evaluation of both cattle welfare and wearable tech performance. The study contributes to the identification of technology that can be used to remotely monitor newborn calf behavior, in hopes of contributing to evaluating relationships with disease and management practices.

Years Study Conducted: 2021

PI: Claire Windeyer

The study is developing/adapting scoring facial expressions of pain and behavioural assessment tools with Angus calves. It is the first step towards developing precision livestock farming technology for identifying pain in Angus cattle. 

Years Study Conducted: 2021

PI: Maria Camila Ceballos

A pilot study to look at the relationship between foraging of bats, beef cattle, and biting insects. Supports sustainabilty of cattle management by identifying practices that benefit bat conservation, as well as the roles of bats in natural pest control, and possible surveillance of diseases transmitted by biting insects.

Years Study Conducted: 2021

PI: Mathieu Pruvot

This study evaluates the interaction between age of the calf and time away from cows for spring processing, where calves are typically separated to facilitate procedures for health, identification, and meat quality. It supports understanding of how management practices influence calves, and identifying best practice considerations to create positive outcomes for calf welfare and beef production.

Years Study Conducted: 2019

PI: Ed Pajor, Claire Windeyer |

This project contributes to supporting cattle reproduction in the beef industry. It looks to answer if warmer testes in bulls reduce semen quality, and if so, can effects be minimized by providing bulls with shade before collection or by adding a natural compound to the semen after collection.

Years Study Conducted: 2020-2021

PI: John Kastelic