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Lakeland College’s land acquisition brings bison home

Lakeland College has bought new land to give the college’s bison a brand new home in the new year.

The newly purchased land consists of eight contiguous quarters, handling facilities, outbuildings, fencing, and full services and was purchased for $7,780,000.

The land was bought to help the college demonstrate a commercial-scale mixed-farm operation as part of the Student-Managed Farm. The acquisition of the land was made possible by a massive $4 million donation in February 2020 from Armin and Rita Mueller, specifically for this purpose.

Dr. Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president and CEO of Lakeland College says they are honoured that Armin and Rita decided to support us on this incredible venture.

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“This is the biggest gift Lakeland has ever received and the impact it will have on our students, our campus and our farm will be a long-lasting one. We’re honoured that Rita and Armin have entrusted us with carrying on their legacy in the bison industry.”

Lakeland College is now the first post-secondary institution in the country with a commercial bison operation. This will give students the opportunity to work hands-on with commercial-sized mixed farm operations and expand the animal science technology program.

The dean of the School of Agricultural Sciences at Lakeland Geoff Brown says they are excited to continue developing the bison-related programming and bringing the bison home

“The addition of a bison herd to our agricultural sciences programming not only gives our students experiential learning opportunities with the bison, it expands our entire program, strengthening our ability to teach our students about sustainable range and forage management. It also opens opportunities for the college to partner with bison organizations to complete applied research projects to increase efficiency and profitability in the industry,”

The bison will be moved to the new site at the end of this month.

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