Students studying forage and pasture management at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, Man., are getting a little more mud on their boots and some real-life experiences rolled into their course curriculum this winter session.
Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) and Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives (MBFI) have designed a guest-instructor schedule from the excellent producer expertise among their ranks to help Assiniboine deliver the course to more than 60 students twice a week, a release states.
In early December the college put out a call for instructors in response to a long-time faculty member going on a short sabbatical. MFGA and MBFI answered the call. Mary-Jane Orr, general manager of MBFI, has a research background and has taught at Purdue University. Orr worked with Assiniboine staff and faculty to smooth the transition and make sure they were meeting course requirements.
Meanwhile MFGA looked to their board members and partners to fill in the required instructor sessions on a voluntary basis.
“MFGA takes a lot of pride (in) the way our producers farm, especially around forages, pastures and livestock as they all manage their farms with systems that reward them economically while respecting the soil, water and agricultural lands they work on,” said Duncan Morrison, MFGA executive director, in a release.
“We believe when it comes to livestock, grass, water, and soil knowledge and farming practices that we have some of the best of the best in Manitoba.”
Morrison added that they’ve approached Manitoba Agriculture, Manitoba Beef Producers and Ducks Unlimited Canada to help round out the guest instructor roster, “and so far, everyone seems really enthused to bring their valuable expertise to the students.”
The course will provide technical understanding and hands-on learning in forage and livestock production. Students will tour MBFI and the Boyd family’s Glanton Farms north of Brandon as part of the guest instructor sessions.