UW Extension offers Wyoming Ranch Camp for young adults
Teaching about the challenges ranchers face and using hands-on learning are part of the Wyoming Ranch Camp, presented by University of Wyoming Extension Educators to be held May 24-28 near Evanston.
The camp is at the Queen Mountain Lodge on the Broadbent Ranch and geared toward recent high school graduates and college students.
“This program is meant to be well-rounded, including all these types of topics someone needs to know to run a ranch or be involved in an ag business,” said Chance Marshall, Extension agriculture and horticulture educator based in Fremont County.
Meat science, animal science, economics, ranch recreation and range management are among topics to be covered. Camp attendees will present their ranch management plans the last day, and the winning team will receive an award.
“There will be contests going on all week,” said Hudson Hill, Extension agriculture and horticulture educator based in Lincoln County. “The participants are basically given this ranch and asked to put together a ranch plan, and whoever has the best plan at the end of the week is going to win the contest and receive the award.”
The program is limited to 20 participants and costs $200 per student. Lodging and meals are provided.
“Part of the application process is to write a statement of interest,” said Marshall. “We just want to know why they want to be part of the program and how they hope to benefit from it.”
There are scholarships available for the $200 registration fee and will be awarded based on the application statement as well as the order they are received.
“If businesses or individuals are interested, they could have the ability to sponsor tuition for a student and possibly sponsor a prize,” said Hill. “They can nominate a young person in their community who may benefit from this class and who is going to be involved in agriculture.”
“Housing is at the lodge and participants will have downtime to get in their teams and interact with each other, come up with plans to use the tools learned and make decisions for themselves,” shared Hill.
“It’s a good networking opportunity for people who want to do this and want to meet people involved across the state,” said Marshall.
Topics to cover
Day one focuses on the economic aspect of running a ranch or agriculture business. Participants will learn about the basics of a ranch business plan, economic tools for analyzing ranch decisions and incorporation of risk management into a ranch plan.
Day two allows participants to explore and tour parts of the ranch and learn from the owners of the ranch about ranch diversification and the importance of managing people, rather than cattle.
“The ranch has an outfitter who has a lodge and hunts clients out of it, and that’s another source of income for the ranch,” said Marshall. “He’s going to discuss their business approach.”
Day three focuses on range management with some classroom work focused on how to calculate and manage stocking rates, according to Brian Sebade, Extension agriculture and horticulture educator based in Albany County.
Participants will clip plants and do transects.
“This way folks can really see hands-on what they need to do to estimate forage, figure out how many animals they can have and look at different plants to determining which livestock species are going to graze which plants,” said Sebade. “We also want to include details about poisonous plants.”
Day four focuses on animal science and allows participants to learn about managing herd genetics, nutrition and health, shared Marshall.
“We might be out docking lambs, talking about animal handling, working with artificial insemination and mineral supplementation,” said Marshall. “We’re going to have all kinds of things participants can look at and see firsthand.”
Participants will present ranch plans to a panel of Extension personnel and ranchers, and a winning team named.
The Wyoming Ranch Camp is partially funded by the John P. Ellbogen Foundation.
For more information about participating or sponsoring a student, contact Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-885-3132, or Marshall at email@example.com or 307-332-2363.
This article was written by Katie Shockley and is courtesy of the University of Wyoming. For more information, e-mail Shockley at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit uwagnews.com.