The University of Saskatchewan has one of Canada’s foremost Agricultural Research Centres. Part of this means they have University Farms. Some of these are full-scale offsite (picture the UBC Research Forest but for wheat), some are full-scale onsite (like the 350 ewes that lamb 3 times per year) and some are small-scale onsite (like the poultry barn).
These farms meet several goals: students learning Vet Medicine or Agriculture get exposure to the real thing and do hands-on work on the farms; Agri-researchers can test new feed, care protocols, pen sizes and spacing; Medical researchers have a source of blood from genetically similar animals so they can develop vaccines; and they are also working farms that sell their products. The milk truck comes by a few times a week, and you can buy USask eggs in local stores (although not branded as such). Part of my education in Saskatchewan Agriculture will involve visiting the U of S farms, learning about production processes, tasks, seasonality, and the potential hazards. I am also hoping to do some pilot testing of my exposure assessment methods early next year, so it will be easier if I get to know the folks and the facilities. I will post about my farm tours as they happen – I am guessing things will be a little different than the 10-acre mixed hobby farms I grew up with.