Cows Rule at Columbia Lake Ranch

Columbia Lake Ranch is located on the gorgeous lands that stretch from Columbia Lake up into the mountains behind. The 22,000 acres include ranch land, crown land and conservation land, as a part of the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Nature Trust.

Nature Conservancy Canada and Columbia Lake RanchNature Trust of BC and the Columbia Lake Ranch

Over 250 cattle live, breed and are auctioned from this beautiful space. The amount of land greatly outnumbers the cattle, much higher than the typical “rule of thumb” of 1.5 acres per cow and calf pair. Because of the cow to land ratio, the environmental impacts are immensely lower than typical cattle industry ranches. Also, the land is filled with the natural forest and a few hay fields creating a sustainable and environmentally conscious environment.

Moving forwards, Columbia Lake Ranch is looking to grow into new opportunities, the latest example being education. Partnered with Columbia Lake Technology Center, Columbia Lake Ranch values the education of younger generations and wants to help people expand their knowledge of and experiences in agriculture. Recently, the ranch hosted a veterinary student, who was born and raised on Bowen Island, British Columbia and developed a love of animals and science throughout her life. After completing her Bachelor of Science at the University of British Columbia, she started the veterinary program based out of the University of Melbourne in Australia. This particular program teaches the basics about veterinary medicine and allows specialization with their “Tracks Program”. Our visiting student dreams of specializing in equine, which made the program offered through the University of Melbourne appeasing. After the completion of her semester, it is required to have a 5-day placement to increase the breadth of industries the students are exposed to. This student came to stay at Columbia Lake Ranch for her placement.

Organized through the university, the ranch placement aims to expand and grow a student’s knowledge into a practical environment.  Students live on the ranch and take part in daily ranch chores and activities, developing an understanding of the animals in context, and gaining valuable knowledge of how a ranch operates.  Our visiting student this summer takes back relationships with the field in which she will work – what a gift to her future clientele!

Columbia Lake Ranch

The first day was spent getting to know the ranch. From the general navigation of backroads and trails, to the animals which resided in different pastures, there was plenty of exploration to be completed. As the days progressed more duties were performed and shadowed. This included relocating cattle between pastures, caring for horses, and learning the ranch lifestyle. By the completion of the five-days our guest had processed an amount of information and was becoming a bit of a rancher herself!

Columbia Lake Ranch looks forward to hosting more students, and not only teach them, but also learn from them. As education begins to change and become more technology focused it will be interesting to see how ranch-life adapts and advances, and the Columbia Lake Ranch is thrilled to be a part of the journey!

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Columbia Lake Ranch looks forward to hosting more students, and not only teach them, but also learn from them. As education begins to change and become more technology focused it will be interesting to see how ranch-life adapts and advances, and the Columbia Lake Ranch is thrilled to be a part of the journey!