Colorado Ranch Practicum open for registration

Ranching started in Colorado more than 150 years ago. Still to this day, it is a major contributor to Colorado’s economy while at the same time keeping millions of acres of open space intact. However, due to economic changes and other challenging obstacles, the number of ranches is declining. To assist in the development of the next generation of ranchers the Colorado Ranch Practicum is designed to equip young and beginning ranchers to be successful.

Prospective applicants are those that are beginning ranchers, ranch workers wanting become ranch owners, as well as existing or established ranchers. Colorado Ranch Practicum is not specifically age driven, but rather is seeking to engage those individuals looking for further beef industry guidance and education.

The Colorado Ranch Practicum is a cooperative endeavor between Colorado State University and Colorado Cattlemen’s Association designed to give beginning ranchers fundamental skills in range livestock production and ranch management.

Over a nine-month, three-season period of time, participants get an overview of ranching practices from new angles. Participants will cover decision support tools to evaluate management and marketing alternatives, plant identification, range conditions and grazing strategies, wildlife management, evaluation of cow body condition scores and beef cattle production systems.

Classroom and on-the-ground activities will be held at various locations including CSU and USDA research centers and ranches.

Practicum dates are May 30 to 31, June 27 to 28, September 13 to 14, November 29 to 30 and February 5, 2013. Scheduling of the sessions from May to February is designed to cover the production cycle of both livestock and forage resources.

Participants will also be involved in a mentorship program which is designed to provide beginning ranchers with external resources and a network of relationships with experienced ranchers to help establish support.

Enrollment is limited to 20 applicants. Registration is due April 15, but may be extended based on applications received.

The registration fee for the 9-day, 5-session Practicum is $600 for one person and $900 for two participants from the same ranch. The fee includes all educational materials, noon meals and breaks. Participants are responsible for travel and lodging expenses. Scholarships will be available and will be awarded on a competitive basis.

Registration packets are available from county extension offices in Colorado and from the CCA office. For additional information, contact Dr. Jack Whittier, CSU Extension Specialist at 970-491-6233, e-mail jack.whittier@colostate.edu, or Devin Murnin, CCA Director of Industry Programs 303-431‐6422, email devin@coloradocattle.org . You can also visit the Colorado Ranch Practicum website at www.coloradocattle.org/ranchinglegacyprogram.aspx.

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