U of I Ranching School Offers Comprehensive Look at Cattle Production
Marisa Lloyd

U of I Ranching School Offers Comprehensive Look at Cattle Production

University of Idaho

MOSCOW — A new University of Idaho school for ranchers that begins in January will offer an intensive look at their business from their financial world to finished product.

The U of I Advanced Ranch Management School will include five multi-day sessions with business, forage, meat science, human resources, and animal science experts. Topics will cover the practical and more in-depth details of producing cattle and running a ranch.

“We’ve had interest from the Idaho Cattle Association and others in a program like this. They want higher-level education and skill-building classes to help them operate their businesses better,” said U of I organizer John Hall, Extension beef specialist at the Nancy M. Cummings Research, Extension and Education Center near Salmon.

The school will require those who sign up to invest their attention and effort. “We will have guest speakers, and students will be actively participating in the sessions and discussions. This is not a passive course,” Hall said.

The school ties together efforts by U of I and multiple groups over the last several years to address many of the topics one at a time through individual programs, Hall said. Some were held at the Cummings Center, which serves as the U of I College of Agricultural and Life Sciences focus for beef cattle research.

The school will expand on those programs and the locales to give a wider view of the industry with in-depth sessions with ranchers, industry leaders, and U of I and other university faculty.

The first session is planned for Thursday and Friday, Jan. 20-21, in Twin Falls and will focus on the business of ranch management with Oklahoma State University agribusiness economist Derrell Peel. It will highlight cattle industry conditions, potential new enterprises, and the financial basics of the business. University of Idaho Extension professors Hernan Tejeda and Joel Packham will participate.

The second session includes three weekly, evening Zoom sessions in mid-to-late March and will focus on managing forage resources and the natural resource base. Cummings Center researchers Melinda Ellison and Jim Sprinkle will lead the program.

The third session will gather students on the U of I Moscow campus in early May and focus on meat science from the animal’s harvest through the final product. Meat scientists Phil Bass and Michael Colle will lead the program.

The fourth session will take place on Zoom in mid-July and focus on human resources management and ranch leadership with UI Extension educator Shannon Williams. The session will cover human resources basics from hiring through advocacy for the industry and ranchers’ own operations.

The fifth and final session will take place Sept. 12-14 in Salmon at the Cummings Center. It will focus on animal production from nutrition to genetics and reproductive technology. Hall, UI Extension Educator Benton Glaze, Jim Sprinkle, and other experts will discuss potential advantages and barriers of new technologies. They also will lead hands-on labs in cattle and range management.

Registration costs $200 per person or $300 for ranch couples. More information about the Advanced Ranch Management School and registration is available from John Hall at jbhall@uidaho.edu or 208-993-1222.

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