Most people hear “Ranch Management Program” and think exclusively of cowboys and cattle. However, TCU’s Ranch Management Program is far from restrictive. The diverse and comprehensive curriculum covers everything from soil and water conservation to animal feeding and finance. Alumni are involved in various fields, such as law, grocery management, finance, and pharmaceutical sales.
Ashley House, a Ranch Management alum, graduated with her BA in History in 2009 and received her Certificate of Ranch Management in 2016. She currently works as the Director of Public Policy National Affairs for the Farm Bureau of Colorado. House says, “I think the TCU Ranch Management field trip component helped me develop my approach in obtaining substantive answers to big-picture questions. As a student, you have the privilege of being a guest at these successful farms and ranches, and the thoughtful dialogue that follows (and is encouraged by the alumni hosts and faculty) is astounding…It's helped me go out in the field today and obtain the real-life, applied answers I need to build and package my lobby narratives in D.C. You can't improve or change policy meaningfully unless you are able to measure it in real life. And TCU Ranch Management taught me how to approach the measurement."
The program is on the rise, especially with the shift in ranch land ownership. Chris Farley, the assistant director of the Ranch Management Program, explained that the larger ranches are being sold by baby boomers onto the next generation and being broken up into smaller ranches to gain more profit. Most of these new owners are not familiar with the knowledge needed to run a ranch, and therefore the demand for skilled ranch managers comes in strong. TCU’s program is unique in preparing ranch managers.
Jeffery Geider, director of the Institute of Ranch Management, says, “The ranching industry is evolving as much as it is growing.” With an increasing global population, the demand for agricultural production is also increasing, with the added challenge of producing more food on less land. The Ranch Management Program equips managers with not only the scientific knowledge to innovate current ranching strategies, but also the business education needed to make efficient decisions.
Farley says, “TCU Ranch Management alumni are managing livestock in more than 40 states and 13 different countries across the world. They are the leaders in all areas of the industry. They are the true foundation of land stewards and care for millions of acres across the globe.” Geider says the prestige of the program is another reason to be proud. “I would say the primary reason for this recognition is the people associated with the Program. Students, industry associates, supporters, and especially alumni have made and continue to make all of us connected to the Ranch Management Program exceptionally proud. The roles they play in the agricultural industry, their contributions to their communities and society in general and the impact their leadership has on all we do is a testament to their commitment to the Program and one another and a source of great pride to all who are allied with the Program,” he says.
Learn more about TCU’s Ranch Management Program.