Visitors to Cheyenne Frontier Days can build a ranch, change a stream flow, meet Wyoming’s most (un)wanted outlaw weeds, eat a beef stick from UW Cowboy Branded Meats and test their wool grading skills.
The University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is presenting displays and interactive activities at the Western Experience area of Cheyenne Frontier Days Park, July 21-22 and July 24-28. Hours are 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Look for them next to the BLM horses.
July 21 and 22, visitors can explore native grasses, measure soil pH, gain perspective on the state’s rainfall, and learn what it means to be a headwaters state for three major river basins.
July 24 and 25 are beef days. Highlights include beef trivia, build-a-ranch, meet your meat and free giveaways.
July 26, visitors can view plants and insects and try their hand at determining which are friend and foe.
July 27 and 28 are sheep days. Highlights include sheep trivia, “not your grandmother’s wool,” meet your meat and key qualities of different fleeces.
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources students, staff and faculty members will be on hand. Partners for these activities are the Wyoming Beef Council, Wyoming Wool Growers Association and Laramie County Conservation District.
Other organizations offer demonstrations of horsemanship and training, rodeo and other Western experiences.
For more information, see Western Experience at www.cfdrodeo.com.
Applications are being accepted for a ranch management school that filled to maximum last year and has had hundreds of cattle producers attend.
The eight-day, multi-season High Plains Ranch Practicum is June 13-14, Aug. 23-24, Sept. 26-27 and Nov. 1-2, said Blake Hauptman, University of Wyoming Extension educator.
Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne is this year’s host site. The practicum is supported and developed by the University of Wyoming Extension and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The practicum is the longest-running ranch management school in the region, Hauptman said, with ranchers attending last year from Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota.
Specific topics are: unit cost of production; grazing and forages; economic analysis tools; personnel management and family working relationships; and nutrition, reproduction and body condition scoring.
The school is hands-on and focused on generating discussions and not lectures, said Hauptman.
“There are opportunities to visit ranches and hear from engaging guest speakers who share the tools and principles they’ve used to make their ranch businesses more profitable while improving their land, lifestyles and relationships,” he said.
Course fee is $600 for individuals and $900 for two from the same ranch and covers materials, instructor costs and meals. More about the practicum is at http://hpranchpracticum.com.
Information to help beginning farmers and ranchers acquire land from retiring agricultural producers is being offered during a conference in Riverton hosted by the Rural Law Center in the University of Wyoming College of Law.
The free event is 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Friday, March 9, in the Intertribal Center at Central Wyoming College. Lunch is provided. One-on-one advising sessions with guest speakers are available after the conference.
Information about the legal, financial and human issues related to estate and transition planning will be provided, said organizers.
“Succession can be a tricky area for ag businesses,” said Cole Ehmke, UW Extension ag entrepreneurship and personal financial management specialist and a conference presenter. “The conference aims to increase the odds of success.”
In addition to Ehmke, featured speakers are Jim Magagna, executive vice president of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association; Josh Johnson, ANB Bank; Jenna Keller, Keller Law, LLC; and Frank Kelly, Mountain West Farm Bureau.
The longest-running and most successful ranch management school in the region is accepting applications for 2017, said the University of Wyoming Extension educator who helped develop the program.
The High Plains Ranch Practicum is an in-depth ranch management program hosted by UW Extension and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.
The course begins in June and ends in November, combining case studies and hands-on applications to bring concepts and principles to life, said UW Extension educator Dallas Mount.
“Don’t expect to be lectured to,” he said. “If the ranch practicum school doesn’t make a significant difference in the bottom line of your ranch business and/or your quality of life, then we failed. Our goal is to help you move your business to the next level.”
Dates are June 28-29, Aug. 23-24, Sept. 20-21 and Nov. 1-2. The school is based at Laramie County Community College with outside activities and ranch tours.
Four areas are emphasized: range and forage management, nutrition and reproduction, financial management and family and employee working relationships.
Most ranchers are great at the production part of the business, said Mount, excelling at raising cattle, putting up hay and keeping the ranch running.