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Alta. family donates 19,000-acre ranch to U of C

Alta. family donates 19,000-acre ranch to U of C

The donation is worth about $44 million

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

An Alberta farm family’s donation is helping prepare the next generation of ag veterinarians.

Jack Anderson and his daughter Wynne Chisholm, who together own W.A. Ranches near Cochrane, Alta. is gifting a 19,000-acre ranch to the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM). The ranch also includes about 1,000 head of cattle and the buildings constructed on the land.

The total donation is worth about $44 million, which will help reshape the education future veterinarians receive. It is also the largest ranch gift ever given to a North American university.

“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 (UCVM),” Dr. Bajit Singh, dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, said in a statement Friday.

Part of the decision to donate the land came during succession planning.

Other members have chosen careers away from the farm. Giving the ranch to the university seemed like a natural fit, Chisholm said.

“There are only three grandkids in our family and all have chosen careers outside of agriculture,” Chishol, a U of C alumnus, told the Calgary Herald Friday. “So, we were looking at what our next steps were and what we might do. We just thought it was an area the university was missing.”

The school will officially take possession of the land in November.

The land donation isn’t the first partnership between the family and the U of C.

The family gifted $5 million to the school in 2014 to establish the Anderson-Chisolm Chair in Animal Care and Welfare.

Jack Anderson and Wynne Chisholm
University of Calgary photo


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