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*NEW for 2017!* Adopt a Rancher Guides are now available in French. Please contact email@example.com if you are interested in French programming.
Students in the Adopt a Rancher program analyze a ranch ecosystem in a case study that they develop themselves. By using a student guide and online resources and communicating with the adopted rancher, students will answer this question: How can ranching protect Saskatchewan’s native grasslands while providing economic benefits for Saskatchewan people?
The native grassland ecosystems of Saskatchewan are threatened. The great herds of bison that thundered across the prairie are gone. Bison evolved with the grasses, forming a close relationship in which their health depended on each other. Today ranchers manage native grasslands to keep them healthy, using livestock in place of bison. Making the right management choices means that native grasslands can be a sustainable resource for Saskatchewan in which the biodiversity of native species is protected. Grasslands have other values and functions that are important for society such as regulating water flow and maintaining soil stability.
The program structure is divided into four different segments:
Part 1: The Adopt a Rancher program coordinator meets with the rancher in the summer or fall prior to the school’s involvement in the program. The tentative areas for activities are selected for the May or June Field Day. Safety issues or other concerns are discussed. The rancher and the coordinator take pictures for the Rancher’s Portfolio which students will use to study the ranch ecosystem and to become familiar with the ranch. The rancher fills out the Ranch Profile to provide information about the land and its management.
Part 2: The second part takes place when the Grade 10 Sustainability of Ecosystems Science unit is taught—allowing flexibility for the teachers. Components of the Adopt a Rancher program support learning objectives in the Sustainability of Ecosystems unit so teachers know their students are covering the needed material as they develop their case studies.
Part 3: A date for a Field Day will be set. Groups of students collect data for projects they have designed as they tour the ranch. A picnic lunch and group games round out the day.
Part 4: After Field Day, students complete their case studies and participate in a class discussion examining the sustainability of the ranch ecosystem.
If you would like to learn more about this hands-on learning opportunity, please contact the PCAP office directly at (306) 352-0472 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to the following sponsors for their financial support in the development and delivery of the Adopt a Rancher program:
This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of the Environment. Ce projet a été réalisé avec l’appui financier du gouvernement du Canada agissant par l’entremise du ministère fédéral de l’Environnement.
Agriculture Awareness Initiative Program
Commission for Environmental Cooperation - North American Partnership for Enviromental Community Action
Saskatchewan Beef Industry Development Fund