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March 1, 2011

Business Students in Gumboots

by okanagancollegesustainability

Students in professor Arnica Rowan’s Sustainable Enterprise class at Okanagan College traded their street shoes for gumboots earlier this month and made the trip to Lumby to visit a working cattle and sheep farm. 

“We drove out to Vale Farms because they are a model of sustainable practices in the agricultural industry,” said Rowan. “This family farm demonstrates that operating an ethically-driven business can be very successful.” 

The farm is certified organic, SPCA certified, and sells their grass-fed meats directly to the public through Okanagan farmer’s markets. The third- and fourth-year Bachelor of Business Administration students learned about niche marketing, the process of becoming an organic farm, and right-sizing a business. They also chased sheep and took a lamb inventory while Hladych performed non-surgical castrations.

The field trip was the first of many connections with the Okanagan green economy for Rowan’s Sustainable Enterprise class. 

“Going green is no longer a fad or a way of capturing a new market,” stated Rowan. “It’s a completely different way of doing business that values an organization’s community and environmental impact as much as the bottom line.” 

In the challenging course, students learn to do a triple-bottom-line report, an industrial ecology plan, and a green business impact assessment. 

“The students love the course because they get to see a whole new approach, and learn how to apply their analytical business skills in a new realm. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.”

This article is part of the Sustainability in Education Series. If you have your own 100-150 word Sustainability in Education story please send it to David Williams so that it can be featured in upcoming editions of Inside Okanagan College.

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