High Plains Ranch Practicum taking applications for 2011-12 class | TSLN.com

High Plains Ranch Practicum taking applications for 2011-12 class

A national-award-winning livestock extension program is again being offered for 2011-12, beginning in June and concluding in January 2012.

The High Plains Ranch Practicum School is an in-depth ranch management school hosted jointly by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension and the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service (UW CES).

Enrollment is limited to 35. Participants must submit an application form by April 29.

The practicum is an eight-day, five-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 Dallas Mount, UW CES educator, an instructor in the program.

Sessions are at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Panhandle Research and Extension Center at Scottsbluff, NE, and at the University of Wyoming’s 3,400-acre Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center (SAREC) near Lingle, WY.

The course will focus 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.

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“Ranchers able to integrate these four areas into decision-making will find they can use a systems approach to improve the sustainability of the ranch operation,” said Aaron Berger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension educator and one of the instructors.

Participants will benefit from instruction and current research in range livestock production, financial management and marketing systems from nationally recognized experts.

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. Producer participants who complete the course requirements will receive a 50 percent tuition scholarship.

The course is an approved borrower training course by the Farm Service Agency and can be taken for credit by students through UNL or UW.

For additional information or to obtain an application for the High Plains Ranch Practicum, contact Berger at 308-235-3122 or aberger2@unl.edu, Mount at 307-322-3667 or dmount@uwyo.edu, or visit the Web site at http://HPRanchPracticum.com.