Where the Future of Resource Management Begins
TCU's Ranch Management Program offers a unique course of study for students who are interested in a career in agriculture. Our mission is to prepare students to manage a wide range of resources anywhere in the world on an economic and ecological basis. The faculty members of the Program are all ranchers who bring into the classroom a level of experience that is critical in helping students understand how the principles that are taught in class can be applied on the ranch. Ranch Management students also benefit from the experience of over 40 professionals during the five weeklong field trips and numerous day trips throughout Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
The focus of the Ranch Management Program is on the business of ranching, but the principles taught are applicable to any type of enterprise. "It is called "Ranch Management" because the classes and lectures are ranching and agriculturally based, but the information I have learned here can apply to any business," says Matt McLelland ('12). Matt also noted that the program teaches time, resource, and financial management which he thinks is especially important in today's economy.
Economics and sound business principles are at the core of each course taught at the Program. The Ranch Management courses are taught in three-hour blocks and the professors feel that this schedule allows for more continuity by letting
the class immerse themselves in the subject matter and stay involved in the same discussion for a longer period of
time. The six major projects throughout the year give the students the opportunity to take what they are learning in the classroom and apply it to a production setting. By the time they graduate each
Ranch Management student will look at the world of agriculture differently. "Today I no longer see a herd of cattle but instead I see the cost of having those cattle on pasture and the possible profit or loss that will be associated with them." (Charles Busby, '12)
Nadine Williamson ('12) agrees that the focus of the Program is on running break-evens and budgets to be able to operate any ranching operation economically. However she believes that the people she has met through the Program are also important, "Hands down, the greatest blessing I have gotten from here is meeting some wonderful people inside and outside of the classroom who will be friends for a lifetime and that is something you cannot put a price tag on." Dakota Holmes, a classmate of Williamson's agrees that when he leaves the Ranch Management Program he will be taking with him an unbelievable network of contacts, as well as lifelong friends.
Ninety-nine percent of Ranch Management alumni agree that the Program is one of the most challenging courses of study that they have undertaken. They also agree it is one of the most rewarding. Students learn through a combination of classroom instruction, projects and field trips, but it goes beyond academics. The personal growth that each student goes through during the two semesters in the Program is life changing. Eric Miller ('12), a student from Nebraska puts it this way; "The program has challenged me, pushed me almost to the point of breaking, and then brought me back. And through all of it I have got a glimpse of what I am truly capable of doing." It is part of our mission to see that each student who graduates from the program takes with them a confidence in their ability to be a leader in the agricultural industry.