Pigs’ Future Brightens Up

Group 18 – Gambier Island Sea Ranch – Pig Management Project

This team is of the lucky few chosen to travel to beautiful Gambier Island for their project. They worked with the Gambier Island Sea Ranch to look into the recent health problems of their pigs – over the past 2 years all the pigs have had to be euthanized due to an unknown disease. Speculations were made (possible ring worm infections?) as a tight budget prevented the farm from hiring a veterinarian and suggestions were given (move the pigs to a different field) along with various other advice for their Gambier Island community partner. Due to the nature of their project, group 18 was left with not much else to do so they were given the task of building nesting boxes for the ranch’s chickens. They were a bit frustrated with this because it didn’t involve their specific project, however it served as a great experience for them as none of the group members had any woodworking experience and reassured them of the strength of their team’s character because the boxes actually turned out quite nicely.

Group 18 has a positive outlook on the future of Gambier Island Sea Ranch’s pig rearing because of the foundation they have set and advice given for having happy, healthy pigs. Hopefully the next round of LFS students to undertake this project will find this group’s efforts useful for improving the ranch in the years to come.


Group 20 – Pasture Management

Gambier Island Sea Ranch

This group’s goal was to determine a sustainable pasture management plan for the Gambier Island Sea Ranch. In order to evaluate the pasture management, they travelled to Gambier Island. Their journey was one filled with travel and beauty.
They got up early on a Saturday morning to catch a chartered ferry to meet their community partner. When they made it to the island they were struck by its beauty. Their community partner came out to greet them with a herd of dogs, they were all very friendly. They were warmly welcomed into their community partner’s home and treated to tea and muffins. The group got to see salmon running up stream, seals eating the salmon in the bay, and an eagle soaring above. It was nothing short of a whimsical day.
The group took soil samples, built chicken nesting boxes and flaps and had the opportunity to be exposed to a wide variety of kind, accomplished, individuals with diverse careers. By getting out there and interacting with their community partner they were able to get the necessary background information needed to do literary research. This information was focused on how to improve the soil quality in order to enhance the forage grown for the animals to feed on. Their feedback will enable their community partner to increase the efficiency and sustainability of their ranch.