A barrier facing many young people who want to start ranching is the challenge of acquiring necessary skills that lead to successful and sustainable operations.
These topics are not something one can learn just anywhere and for the most part are never mentioned in most agricultural degree programs at universities.
Many of the progressive ranching professionals I have come across always refer back to specific learning opportunities such as a Ranching for Profit School or a Bud Williams Stockmanship or Marketing Clinic for giving them the edge they needed to take their ranch management and profitability potential to the next level.
Recently I became aware of one such opportunity I think is worth sharing. During the week of May 13, 2013, the University of Wyoming (UW) Range Club, an active student section of the Society for Range Management will be hosting a week-long event known as the Integrated Ranch Management Symposium (IRMS) in Laramie, Wyoming.
This event focuses in on four key skill areas in ranch management practiced by progressive and profitable ranchers:
Grazing management and land monitoring
Unit cost of production analysis
To effectively address these topics IRMS will feature speakers specialized in the specific area previously mentioned. The event’s agenda starts off on Monday, May 13, with a seminar on unit cost of production analysis with UW Extension educator Dallas Mount.
May 14 and 15 will feature a sell-buy marketing workshop with Curt Epler and Ross Wahlert, livestock marketing experts recommended personally by Bud Williams before his death.
In addition, an extensive two-day rangeland monitoring workshop with monitoring expert Charley Orchard of Land EKG will be offered concurrently.
For those that opt to attend the sell-buy marketing workshop on Tuesday and Wednesday instead of the rangeland monitoring school, you will have another opportunity to learn about grazing management and land monitoring. Attend the field day on Thursday, May 16, offered at Sims Cattle Company in McFadden, Wyoming. Ranch owner Scott Sims and Land EKG's Orchard will offer an introduction to ecological processes and basic monitoring practices and also how evaluation of rangeland health can help ranchers make better management decisions.
Wrapping up this week of exceptional learning opportunities will be a low stress stockmanship clinic with Nebraska veterinarian Tom Noffsinger. He will discuss the importance and advantages of low-stress stockmanship and offer a live demonstration of proper animal-handling techniques.
This event should prove to be a valuable experience not only for ranchers and land managers but also for college students who may not have the chance to learn about these unique topics in their college courses. College students should look into applying for the scholarships UW Range Club has received from sponsors.
Details for the events can be found on this website: http://rangelands.org/IRMS and on their Facebook page.