A compassionate father-daughter duo has donated a $44 million cattle farm to a school for veterinary medicine in order to offer students a unique resource to learn about animal medicine, ethical farming, and sustainable agriculture.
90-year-old Jack Anderson and his daughter Wynne Chisholm have been managing W.A. Ranches since 2005 when the senior turned away from his work in the gas and oil field. They are now donating the 19,000-acre (7,700-hectare) farm to the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
Their only conditions for the donation are guaranteed employment for their five full-time ranch workers and the ability to visit the farm from time to time. Otherwise, the university will take on full ownership of the ranch and all of its assets.
“It was important to us that we would still be allowed to come onto the ranch, particularly at calving time, and see the animals,” Chisholm told The National Post about their love for the land. “My dad will probably still want to do a drive-around weekly like he does now, to be able to see what’s happening.”
According to the news outlet, the ranch is the single largest gift of a ranch to a university in North American history.
“Our hope is that this gift will transform the teaching, learning and outreach experiences at UCVM, and empower faculty and students to create and share the scientific, evidence-based discoveries that will improve animal care and welfare, enhance our industry, and inform the public,” Chisholm added in a statement.
Dr. Baljit Singh, dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, said: “The gift of a cattle ranch of this size and calibre offers unprecedented educational opportunities within the dynamic and innovative teaching model practiced at the university.
“The ranch will provide a platform for collaboration with other faculties, industry and the public sector to foster interdisciplinary learning and research, and the development of an international centre of excellence in beef cattle health.”
“This gift will advance the leadership of our Faculty of Veterinary Medicine even further, providing a unique opportunity for our students to engage in immersive learning, develop their professional skills, and make the connections between human, animal and environmental health,” says university president Elizabeth Cannon.
Plant Some Positivity Amongst Your Friends And Share The Good News – Photo by Claire Windeyer / University of Calgary