Colorado Ranching Legacy Program open for registration
The Colorado Ranching Legacy Program is a cooperative endeavor between Colorado State University and the Colorado Cattlemen's Association, designed to give beginning ranchers fundamental skills in range livestock production and ranch management. The first class, made up of 17 beginning ranchers primarily from Eastern Colorado, is nearing completion. We are now recruiting the second class that will focus heavily on the Western Slope of Colorado.
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 Ranching Legacy Program is designed to equip young and beginning ranchers with the tools to be successful.
Prospective applicants are those who are beginning ranchers, ranch workers wanting become ranch owners; as well as existing or established ranchers. The Colorado Ranching Legacy Program is not specifically age driven, but rather is seeking to engage those individuals looking for further beef industry guidance and education.
Over a nine-month period, participants get a comprehensive overview of ranching practices from new angles. The program will cover plant identification, range conditions and grazing strategies, wildlife management, evaluation of cow body condition scores, decision support tools to evaluate management and marketing alternatives, and beef cattle production systems.
Classroom and on-the-ground activities will be held at various locations across Western Colorado. Participants must be willing to commit to attend two-day programs that will take place in late May, late June, mid-September, early December, mid-February, and mid-March. Final dates will be set prior to the beginning of the class. Scheduling of the sessions from May to March is designed to cover the production cycle of both livestock and forage resources.
Mentoring will be available to beginning ranchers in this program via networking with industry leaders in Colorado, exposure to expert speakers at the class, exposure to established ranchers, and through networking with other beginning ranchers.
Enrollment is limited to 20 applicants. Registration is due May 1.
The registration fee for the nine-day, five-practicum program is $600 per individual or $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 Jack Whittier, CSU Extension specialist, at 970-491-6233 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Devin Murnin, CCA director of Industry Programs at 303-431-6422 or email@example.com. Or visit the Colorado Ranch Practicum website at http://www.coloradocattle.org/ranchinglegacyprogram.aspx.
This project was supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant 2011-00993.