Featuring: Van Immerzeel Family Host Ranch – The Colour V

We recently added the Van Immerzeel, Colour V Ranch to our Host Ranches. Check out what Cheryl Van Immerzeel had to tell us about her ranch.

15 years ago my husband and I first started this ranching adventure. We started off raising quality paints and quarter horses, and slowly expanded.  We have 3 sows and a boar and raise 4 litters of piglets a year, we sell as weaners and also raise to custom finish.  Now we have a herd of about 50 pure bred Simmental cows, mainly all originating from my husband’s family breeding program of 35+ years.

We do raise some steers to finish for customers, and sell the remainder.  We also raise meat birds and have laying hens.  We love being able to offer others the opportunity to have all natural, home grown, hormone and medicated free meat (organic). We also have our own milk cow and a large vegetable garden, and trying to grow some fruit trees for our area.  We are almost self-sufficient here, which has been a dream come true.

Our ranch has changed from the beginning of raising and training horses (I used to do all the training too), as we do not raise a lot of horses anymore, still a couple, but our main focus is the meat products.


We also range our beef cows in the summer, and do a large portion of our own hay, so it takes up a lot of our time.  Most of our hayfields are meadow, self-flooding in the spring so we do not have to irrigate which is nice, even on the dry years we still have some moisture in there.  When we first bought our ranch here, 9 years ago, it was highly over grazed, so we have been in the process of bringing back the pastures and also cross fencing to do more pasture rotation.

We calve out in February-April, because we are lower ground here and it is better to do it while the ground is frozen, rather than soggy and wet.  Foals are born in April or May.

About Us:

We have 3 children, Ellie age 12, Trace age 9, and Zadie-Lynn age 7.  They are all very active in the 4H program, as are Pete and I with volunteering our time and leadership.  I have been an active 4H leader for over 5 years, it is a great program. Both my husband and I went through agriculture programs back at Olds College.  We love to share our farm life with others.

Ranching Opportunity- Gulf Islands

Unique Full Time Position Available- Gulf Islands


Students graduating from Applied Sustainable Ranching Program or qualified applicants

More Details: 

Family run and owned beef and sheep farm on Prevost Island,  6 miles from the town of  Ganges on Salt Spring Island, by boat.


Our family has owned the farm since 1925. We urgently need a full-time employee who would be here year-round but even a student coming for the summer would be a big help, so we are open to any suggestions.

Prevost Island is not serviced by ferries or by B.C. Hydro, so travel is by boat  and we do nearly all our business in the town of Ganges, which is a 20 minute boat trip away.  We have solar power backed up by generators. Freight must come in by boat or barge, and once a year we have a big barge come which carries trucks bringing fertilizer, grain, fuel, and other freight in, and taking calves and cull cows out. We sell lambs to private customers, and have to ship the lambs out on a smaller barge and have them then trucked to the slaughterhouse. We grow all the hay needed for winter feed, so haying is a big job in June and early July. Other work includes cutting firewood, ploughing and reseeding pastures and hayfields, fencing, building maintenance, machinery maintenance and repairs, winter feeding of livestock, lambing, calving, and helping to run a portable sawmill.

Accommodation and transportation are provided. We are registered as employers with the CRA and make the required wage deductions as well as providing Worksafe B.C. coverage.

It is important that the employee have some knowledge of farm machinery and its safe operation and maintenance. Experience with livestock is a great help, but we are able to train someone in livestock handling. The employee should have a genuine interest in living in this situation, have a positive outlook, common sense, and a sense of humour and adventure! This is a job in which the living expenses are low, so  a young person could easily save quite a bit of the pay cheque and still live comfortably. The time off is usually flexible except for haying season.

For more information and to apply contact: Barbara de Burgh at barbaradeburgh@gmail.com



David Zirnhelt’s Column in the Williams Lake Tribune | Sign up now for TRU, and tell everyone

We are so lucky to have talented instructors, directors and advisors for the Applied Sustainable Ranching program. See the article below that David Zirnhelt has written for the Williams Lake Tribune about the program. He hits all the points that make this learning experience well worth it.  A common question we get from potential students is “How would I be able to do this program and keep up on the ranch?”

David’s article answers a lot of questions prospective students ask. So if your thinking about the program but hesitating because you think it might not fit into your life, you might be surprised. Read David’s article below and contact program director Jill Watt to see how this could fit into your life.

“When they are at home or placed in a ranch/farm setting they work half time for the host and do online work, half time independent study and group work. This type of learning/teaching is a wave of the future. It is called experiential learning. Combining online study with face-to-face learning is a recipe for success. The major work of the course is all geared for the completion of a business and operational plan for a ranch/farm business, although the business training itself would serve any business well. ”

See David’s full article here.

Contact Jill here:

Gillian Watt, BScAg.MBA
Program Coordinator
Applied Sustainable Ranching
250 319 2367 (c)





Applied Sustainable Ranching 2017 Accepting New Student Intakes

The new year is about to start and the Applied Sustainable Ranching Program is ramping up for it’s next round of new students. Are you one of them?

See all the interesting career opportunities possible and the benefits from a program that focuses on sustainability and the environment while helping to build better communities.

Apply today.



Cariboo Chevrolet Buick GMC Entrance Award | Application Deadline: January 15, 2017

Cariboo Chevrolet Buick GMC Entrance Award: Open to current 4-H members and 4-H alumni.

Application Deadline: January 15, 2017

This $5,200 award is open to current 4-H members and 4-H alumni who have been out of 4-H for up to 5 years, in the province of BC who are applying to enter the Applied Ranching Program at the TRU Williams Lake Campus.  Preference will be given to members within the Cariboo Region.


Applicants will be required to submit a 300-500 word essay outlining why they want to enter the Applied Ranching program at TRU Williams Lake campus. Applicants are encouraged to provide information about themselves and outlining any work done in the 4-H program. The successful applicants will have the value of this award credited to their tuition account on a semesterized basis.

Inquiries about this award or the Applied Sustainable Ranching Program should be directed to:

Gillian Watt, Program Coordinator
Cell: 250-319-2367


Cariboo Chevrolet Buick GMC Entrance Award 2017

Bill Freding Memorial Entrance Award | Application Deadline: January 10, 2017

TRU is now accepting applications for ASUR 1020 Sustainable Business Enterprise starting January 23, 2017. We are pleased to announce the Bill Freding Memorial Entrance Award. Application Deadline: January 10, 2017

Bill Freding Memorial Entrance Award

The successful applicants will have the value of this award credited to their tuition account on a semesterized basis.

One $5,000 award will be awarded annually to a first year student in the Applied Sustainable Ranching program in memory of Bill Freding, a pioneer in the agriculture industry with a passion for lifelong learning and giving back to the community and industry he loved.

Bill Freding had a deep understanding and commitment to the BC beef industry and was always there to lend a hand, provide insight or attend an event. Bill was a strong supporter of developing the local markets and was on the front line when it came to trying new ideas. Bill was very patient and passionate about teaching newcomers to the industry. He was an instigator of fun, learning and innovation.

Applicant must:

Be a student enrolled in the Applied Sustainable Ranching program at Thompson Rivers University – Williams Lake Campus

Submit an essay of three to five pages that answer the following questions:

  • What has the agricultural industry given you?
  • What can you do to help support the positive face of agriculture in today’s society?
  • What do you see as the most effective means to educate consumers about the beef industry?
  • How are you planning to use the knowledge you gain from the Applied Sustainable Ranching program?

The awards will be applied as a tuition reduction of $1,000 for full-time students and $500 for part-time students at the start of classes in the Fall 2016 semester. The remaining amount will be applied as a tuition reduction for the Winter 2017 semester.

Bill Freding Memorial Entrance Award 2017 Application

PDF available here:

Bill Freding Memorial Entrance Award 2017 Application


  1. Complete all sections of this application form.
  2. Submit a three to five page essay answering the following questions:
  • What has the agricultural industry given you?
  • What can you do to help support the positive face of agriculture in today’s society?
  • What do you see as the most effective means to educate consumers about the beef industry?
  • How are you planning to use the knowledge you gain from the Applied Sustainable Ranching program?
  1. Submit a Grade 12 transcript with your application


Personal Information:

Name: (Family, first, middle) _________________________________

Preferred Name: _____________

Street: _____________________________________________________________________

City: _________________________________Province: _____________

Postal Code: ______________

Phone: ______________________________

Email: _________________________________________

Date of Birth: (Y/M/D) ___________________________________Gender:  M  F 

Social Insurance number_______________________

TRU student number (if available) _____________

Education Information:

Name of secondary school currently attending or last attended: _________________________________

School phone number: _________________________

Fax number: _____________________________

Anticipated graduation date from secondary school (if applicable): _______________________________


I hereby certify that the information submitted in the preceding section and in my personal essay is, to the best of my knowledge, complete and accurate. I authorize the release of all secondary school interim and final grades to Thompson Rivers University.

Should I be awarded an award, I agree that my name may be released to scholarship donors and my secondary school and may appear in a published list of award winners.

Signature: _________________________________________

Date: ____________________________

  • Please note that only successful applicants will be notified. If special circumstances exist (such as the recipient being medically unfit or being the recipient of another scholarship), TRU may, at the discretion of the Financial Aid and Awards Office, defer the period of acceptance for a maximum one year. The student is not permitted to defer the award to future years.
  • Should the award recipient withdraw during the first or subsequent semesters of the period of study for which the award is granted, the balance of the award will be cancelled.

Submit your application and essay to:

Student Awards and Financial support

Email: awards@tru.ca

Please enter “Bill Freding Memorial Award” as the subject line of your email.

Emailed applications are required


Stock Dog Training Seminar with Lorne Landry

Students made their way to 105 Mile to visit the Sandhill Lea Ranch, home of Lorne Landry and his amazing stock dogs.  Lorne holds sheep dog trails on his property and he invited students to bring their dogs out to his ranch so they could get a taste of stock dog training.

Lorne's Ranch Sandhill Lea, home to his amazing stock dogs

Lorne produces grass fed beef and lamb and he has working stock dogs to help him out. Lorne’s stock dogs are trained to bring the lambs out to the pasture and to bring them back in. It was truly an amazing sight to see his dogs work. Calmly,with precision the dogs can move the flock one way or another, and go bring them home! Even from a very very far distance Lorne’s dog knew what it was supposed to do and did it effectively.


Working with the instincts of these herding dogs is the key to having a successful working stock dog.  I think we left this stock dog clinic with a whole new appreciation for how a dog can work at a really high level and how this could be such a beneficial relationship and function on a ranching or farming operation.


Students got a chance to bring their dogs in with the sheep to participate, and try it out. Lorne was great. I think we were all a little scared of how the dogs were going to react, but Lorne was a great instructor and within a few minutes we could see what he was trying to get the dog to do and he took control when needed to make sure the sheep were safe and that the dog knew its role. IMG_3249


All in all, a fantastic day with Lorne and students with the Applied Sustainable Ranching program. I know, for me- I want to get all the books he recommended and keep learning more.




Class Field Day

The TRU ranching students have been busy at week on the third module of their program, ASUR 1030 Environmentally Sustainable Ranching.

July 8 Seminar 3

Once a week, the students come to the university to discuss their projects and assignments and participate in a field day. Last Friday, they were lucky to have Verna Miller and Brenda Walkem attend their presentations on native plants.

July 8 Seminar 2 July 8 Seminar 1

They were then treated to a field walk with Cecelia Derose, who showed them how to make “Indian ice cream.”

Cecelia took them berry picking, where they picked Hooshum, also known as soopolallie berries, and then proceeded to show them how to make this delicious treat.

July 8 Seminar 4 July 8 Seminar 6


Just another day of class for the ranching students!

July 8 Seminar 7