General Information for All Users

W.A. Ranches Access

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Health, Safety, and Protocols

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Laboratory, Office, and Meeting Spaces

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Site Specific Instrumentation and Data

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W.A. Ranches Access

Ranch access requires approval by ranch management.

For research, academic, and outreach opportunities at the ranch, please contact the ranch director, Dr. Ed Pajor.

More information for conducting research and academic activities at W.A. Ranches

For other requests, please contact Shane Royal, the Director of Ancillary Services at sroyal@ucalgary.ca

All Visitors are required to check in/out with their designated ranch contact daily and to comply with all biosecurity requirements

COVID 19 Response

COVID Guidelines

  • COVID 19 Waivers are required for non-UCalgary visitors – see COVID Guidelines
  • Please review UCalgary’s authorized ranch access information
  • It is the responsibility of the visiting group’s leader to ensure that all members have completed the necessary training and forms for their group access
    • All groups will be required to have an in-person safety orientation delivered by the designated Ranch Representative upon arriving at the ranch.
    • If anyone has any medical conditions such as allergies that the Ranch Representative may need to be aware of, let them know upon arrival.
    • Emergency Procedures for W.A. Ranches
    • W.A. Ranches Injury Procedure
  • All research, academic, outreach, and other visitors to the ranch, whether UCalgary or external, are required to sign a completed hazard assessment for their visit. The signed copy must be submitted and stored securely in the appropriate location. The type of hazard assessment documentation depends on the type of visitor:
  • Please have all willing members of your group complete the adult or child photo/video consent form which allows W.A. Ranches and the University of Calgary to use photos where your work may be present. Please consider sharing your photos with us for use in our social media, newsletters, and other communications.

 

  • All visitors are required to review a general ranch orientation prior to their visit to the ranch
  • A site specific orientation will be given at the ranch prior to commencement of activities
  • Please ensure documentation of material review as appropriate for the type of visitor
    • All Ranch Visitors
    • UCalgary Researchers and Academic Visitors
      • General Ranch and Site/Activity Specific Orientation Sign off- All UCalgary employees are required to sign off upon review of material. Instructors can sign on behalf of their class, with the expectation that materials are reviewed with those participating in the ranch visit
    • Non-UCalgary Visitors
      • General Ranch and Site/Activity Specific Orientation Sign off - Host is requested to review the general ranch orientation with attendees prior to visiting the ranch. Host will be required to sign-off on behalf of participants after receiving the site-specific orientation. Signatures from all participants are not required at this time.
  • W.A. Ranches has 4 main sites:
    • Cochrane Home
    • Cochrane North
    • Cochrane East
    • Lease Sites
  • Most sites are gated, requiring passcode or key access. Coordinate access with your designated Ranch Representative and follow biosecurity procedures
  • The main ranch office address is: 274237 Range Road 34, Rocky View County
  • There is no public transport to the ranch, and some sites may require remote access.
  • If pasture access is required please note that pastures are not open to outside vehicles. Access is limited to approval by ranch management, and pastures are only accessible by foot or use of the ranch UTV by trained and authorized users only.
  • For safety, please be aware of
  • The ranch currently does not provide accommodations or food
  • Towns with food service and accommodations within a 30 min drive from the ranch are: Cochrane, Airdrie, Calgary
  • Bathroom facilities are located at the main ranch office on the Cochrane Home site, with a capacity to support approximately 10-25 people depending on the group needs. There are currently no bathroom facilities available at other sites. Provision of additional porta-potties for additional capacity, or at sites where there are no existing bathrooms, is at the cost of the user and should be discussed with ranch management during planning of activities.
  • Wifi and Cellular Network Access
    • Wifi coverage is limited to the ranch office and there is limited cellular network coverage throughout WA sites.
    • Common cellular network providers often have coverage around the Cochrane Home site; however, service cannot be guaranteed. There is a landline for emergency use at the ranch office at Cochrane Home site. Please plan accordingly.
    • Wifi at the ranch office can be best accessed through AirUC – Guest accounts
  • There is currently no shipping/receiving available at ranch sites.
  • If you require items to be shipped to the site, please include this request as a part of your access request discussions with ranch management.
  • Be aware that there is currently no chemical or hazardous material storage available at the ranch
  • The welfare of humans and animals that make W.A. Ranches at the University of Calgary possible is of primary importance for everyone at the ranch
  • How you act around the animals influences their life and the livelihood of the ranch. Our behaviour influences human and animal safety, animal welfare, and future interactions.
  • Everyone visiting the ranch must act considerately of those around them, including livestock
  • General details about livestock behaviour and human-animal interactions will be provided in the ranch safety orientation, with more specific information given as necessary
  • Key things to remember about cattle are: 
    • They are a herd animal and a prey species, with a wide field of view and blind spots
      • Act calmly and quietly
      • Be aware of how you approach animals, even if it is as simple as walking past their pen
    • Cattle are individual animals – they are not all the same.
      • Be vigilant
      • Watch cattle for signs of irritation and/or aggression (snorting, pawing, postures that raise heads and ears pointing forwards), and be aware that individuals may vary in how they display these behaviours
    • Practice situational awareness in 360° at all times
      • Know what is going on around you
      • Do not engage in distractions when around livestock or equipment
    • Ask, ask, ask
      • If you are uncertain or see something of concern, ask your Ranch Representative or nearby ranch staff. We are here to support you and our animals!

Health, Safety, and Protocols

  • Preventative measures are in place to keep animals healthy, consistent with the long-standing successful practices on Canadian ranches. All visitors are required to follow biosecurity protocols when visiting the ranch
  • All visitors must complete the “Visitor Log” located at the main research house at Cochrane Home
  • Resources are available for self-assessment of biosecurity hazard and appropriate mitigation practices. Please discuss biosecurity practices with your designated ranch contact.
  • When planning visits to the ranch, incorporate biosecurity considerations into your plan and ensure all aspects are followed appropriately. While biosecurity will be covered during ranch safety orientation, group leaders will be responsible for ensuring their members, and themselves, follow all biosecurity requirements when arriving to the ranch, during your visit, and upon departure.
  • If your biosecurity needs involve the use of disinfectants or sanitizers, please ensure proper disposal for the safety of our animals and environment.
    • For Virkon, used chemical must be collected in proper liquid storage containers (available from Hazmat) and disposal arranged with UCalgary Hazmat.
    • Transportation for disposal is not currently available at W.A. Ranches and must be arranged by users.
  • If you are unsure, please connect with the Ranch Director
  • Visitors and/or the home institute are responsible for all expenses in the event that you become ill, injured, or require emergency evacuation (including search and rescue).
  • It is the responsibility of the project leader of each group visiting W.A. Ranches to ensure that individual members are fully insured for medical coverage (out of province, out of country, etc.), including transport to a home facility.
  • Researchers, academics, and visitors are required to have designated leaders, including alternates should the designated leader be unavailable or off site. Contact information for leaders must be shared with the designated Ranch Representative for the group.
  • All visitors must have completed the necessary permits and waivers for their visit
  • For response to medical emergencies, please refer to the following:
  • Groups are asked to maintain their own medical information and emergency contacts for individuals visiting WA Ranches. Should this information become necessary, the main contact for the group will serve as the point of contact for connecting to an individual’s medical information or emergency contact information.
  • To access this information for UC employees or students, Campus Security (403-220-5333) is an excellent resource to connect to the internal department responsible for this information
  • If anyone has any medical conditions, such as allergies, that the Ranch Representative may need to be aware of let them know upon arrival
  • W.A. Ranches does not stock or provide any medications
  • Visitors are required to bring their own medications (prescription and non-prescription) and personal supplies. This includes “standards” such as medications for upset stomach, minor headaches etc.
  • First Aid requirements are detailed for visitors here.
  • There are some First Aid resources located around the ranch, which will be reviewed during on-site orientation. These are not replacements for the visitor requirements, but good to know about for emergency preparedness.
    • First Aid Kits
      • Type 1 – all ranch trucks (including semi)
      • Type 2 – Cochrane home office and shop, Cochrane North processing barn, Cochrane East Shop
    • Automated External Defibrillators (AED) - 1 located in Cochrane Home Shop
  • Fire prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Visitors are asked to be especially aware of open flame sources, flammable liquids, and possible chemical reactions that could lead to a fire in and around the ranch
  • Dry conditions can be a major fire hazard. Be vigilant of increased risks, particularly when accessing with UTV in long, dry grass
  • If you discover a fire:
    • Evacuate the building;
    • Advise ranch staff immediately;
    • If required, take responsibility for contacting 911
  • All ranch fleet vehicles have a fire extinguisher
  • Use a fire extinguisher only if:
    • You know how to operate one properly and are comfortable doing so
    • The fire is very small;
    • You will not endanger yourself.
  • In the event of a major fire which has or is likely to cause a widespread fire, visitors are asked to meet at the muster area and prepare to depart the area.
  • Working with hazardous materials can be dangerous to the health and well-being of team members as well as to other visitors, W.A. Ranches staff, livestock, wildlife, and our environment
  • Currently there is no shipping/receiving or storage on-site for hazardous materials and waste.
  • Researchers are responsible for their own use and disposal in accordance with appropriate procedures.
  • Certain biohazardous waste (e.g. sharps) may be able to utilize existing disposal resources at the ranch, which must be discussed during early planning with ranch management
  • We are proud of W.A. Ranches and want the people to know about the important research, teaching, and research that take place on the ranch.
  • Sharing content serves to promote the activities at the ranch and support the reputation of the University of Calgary. 
  • Please be aware of privacy issues, and be respectful of others
  • When posting photos or video from W.A. Ranches on social media channels or other web-platforms, we encourage users to consider the implications of their postings. This includes the permanency of the Internet, the wide and varying reach of postings (even in closed networks), varying interpretation of content, and that content can easily be shared outside of the original context.
  • Consider completing the photo/video consent form which allows W.A. Ranches and the University of Calgary to use photos where your work may be present.
  • Consider sharing your photos with us for use in our social media, newsletters, and other communications supporting W.A. Ranches.
  • Visitors are not allowed to bring pets to W.A. Ranches. Please discuss appropriate arrangements for service animals with ranch management when planning your visit
    • “Pet” refers to a domesticated animal kept for companionship or amusement. It does not include animals kept for approved research and teaching purposes or Service Animals.
    • A “Service Animal” is an animal that provides a vital service to persons with disabilities or persons who require assistance due to a medical condition.
    • https://www.ucalgary.ca/policies/files/policies/Pets%20on%20Campus%20Policy.pdf

Laboratory, Office, and Meeting Spaces

There are currently no laboratories, eye wash stations, offices, or meeting spaces at W.A. Ranches. The Long-Range Development Plan for the ranch provides a foundation for future development. 


Site Specific Instrumentation and Data

  • W.A. Ranches at the University of Calgary utilizes HerdTrax for cattle record management. A wide array of animal information is managed utilizing this system, which can be made available to users (e.g. researchers, academic staff) to support their work at W.A. Ranches.
  • Discussion of data requirements is a part of the planning process for work at W.A. Ranches.
  • Activities involving animals are required to complete the information in W.A. Ranches HerdTrax Information Collection prior to any work at W.A. Ranches to allow appropriate updating of the HerdTrax system with animal care information. This allows for communication of activity details with ranch staff in the field, as well as effective tracking of animal uses at the ranch.