The Business of Ranching
Instruction in the Business of Ranching
The Ranch Management Program requires an academic year (nine months) to complete, and students are provided intensive classroom instruction in basic management principles.
The course of study includes livestock production, natural resource conservation, forage production, accounting principles, marketing, personnel management and general management principles, and field work which is coordinated with classroom study to illustrate principles as they are applied in production situations.
Classes are presented in three-hour units to allow concentration of subject matter and to facilitate field work.
Generally, class hours are from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. five days a week, although class hours may vary somewhat when field work requires additional time for travel.
The course of study is intense, and a substantial amount of material is covered in a short period of time.
The curriculum is comprised of classes that cover the basic fundamentals of a range of concerns, from physical labor to the complexity of professional management.
Basic vocational skills are taught that require physical mobility and manual dexterity.
Classroom time is dedicated to management principles that will enable the graduate to appraise representative situations, and guest lecturers who are experts in a particular field bring additional information to the students.
Field trips are an important part of ranch management education and include numerous short excursions to local agricultural operations as well as five week-long trips to operations in different geographic locations.
The visits are chosen to give the best possible cross section of different kinds of country, livestock, and operations that are representative of the ranching industry in each particular area.
The students learn climatic information, and natural resource information pertaining to soils, water, plants, wildlife, livestock, and equipment needs for the area where the operation is located.
On-site study gives the student the opportunity to learn, first hand, of the management policy currently used in breeding programs, animal health, feeding, crop production and harvesting, grazing systems, record systems, and marketing of production.
One of the more valuable aspects of field trips is the broadening of knowledge students receive from meeting successful ranchers and drawing upon their extensive skills, abilities, and experiences.
The field work also teaches students to evaluate available assets and thereby project a viable operation.
Students receive instruction in the basic skills of livestock selection, soil classification, forage evaluations, administration of medicines, and livestock handling.
During the field work, students learn to cooperate with other people and to work independently to achieve particular goals.
Travel on the field trips is conducted in University-owned vehicles equipped with two-way radios.
This communication system enables information to be exchanged among students and faculty while they are traveling between locations or traversing different resource areas.
Attendance is mandatory for all classes and field work, and students are expected to conduct themselves as the professionals they are to become and to maintain the standards of conduct, appearance and attitude that traditionally are expected within the ranching industry.