High Plains Ranch Practicum takes applications for classes in Laramie, Riverton, Kimball

(Laramie, Wyo.) – A national award-winning livestock extension program is again being offered for 2014-2015 beginning in June and ending in January.

The High Plains Ranch Practicum School is an in-depth, ranch management school hosted jointly by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension and University of Wyoming Extension.

Classes are in Laramie, Riverton and Kimball, Neb.

“If you have ranched all your life, or if you are new to ranching, this school will teach valuable, necessary skills for running a successful ranch,” said UW Extension educator Dallas Mount, an instructor in the program. “Dad taught us how to build a fence and feed a cow, but he didn’t teach us how to build a business that generates an economic profit and supports the people who are building the fence and feeding the cow.”

Enrollment is limited to 35. Participants must submit an application by May 5.

For additional information or to obtain an application, contact Mount at 307-322-3667 ordmount@uwyo.edu, or visit the website at http://HPRanchPracticum.com.

The practicum is an eight-day, four-session, hands-on educational program designed to give participants the skills and application of management tools needed to be successful in today’s complex ranching industry, said Mount.

The class is divided between classroom work and hands-on application of the principles learned in the practicum.

The course focuses on providing ranchers tools to understand and integrate four areas of ranch management: range and forage resources, integrating nutrition and reproduction, cost of production analysis and family working relationships.

 “Ranchers able to integrate these four areas into decision making will find they can use a systems approach to improve the long-term profitability of the ranch operation,” said Aaron Berger, an instructor from UNL-Extension.

Mount said attendees enjoy the camaraderie with other participants, instructors and facilitators throughout the three seasons of the practicum.

“Friendships and exchanges of ideas among participants will be some of the most-valued aspects of the program,” he said. “High-quality educational materials are used in the program and include software, notebooks with laminated field guides and an outstanding collection of university publications.”

There is a $600 fee for individuals or $900 for a couple that covers materials, instructor costs and meal expenses.

Mount said producer participants completing course requirements can receive a 50-percent tuition scholarship support through aUSDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grant.

— University of Wyoming Extension