The 2013 Nebraska Ranch Practicum gives ranchers cutting-edge research in range livestock production from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Natural resources, livestock management and economic reality are integrated throughout the Practicum.
During the three-season UNL Extension class, participants have the opportunity to expand their knowledge with an overview of ranching practices from new angles, says Brent Plugge, UNL Extension educator in Kearney. Throughout the program, participants will cover a variety of topics, including the effective use of decision support tools to evaluate management and marketing alternatives, plant identification, range conditions and grazing strategies, wildlife management, evaluation of cow body condition scores and beef cattle production systems.
Classroom activities will open and close the practicum in North Platte, with the remainder of the classes conducted at UNL's Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory, a working ranch with education and research facilities, near Whitman. The 12,800-acre ranch provides hands-on experience to ranchers.
Practicum dates are June 12 and 13, July 11, Sept. 4 and 5, and Nov. 7, 2013, and Jan. 8 and 9, 2014, for the eight-session class.
Scheduling of the sessions from June to January is designed to cover the production cycle of both livestock and forage resources.
The 2013 Nebraska Ranch Practicum can count for college or continuing education credit. Participants looking to earn credits should make arrangements during the initial session.
Applications are due May 3, 2013, with a $250 deposit, Plugge says. The registration fee for this eight-session learning experience is $650 if your application is submitted prior to April 19. The fee is $700 if your application is submitted between April 19 and May 3. Fees for a spouse are $350.
All educational materials, noon meals and breaks are included. Participants are responsible for travel and lodging expenses.
Enrollment is limited to 35, and applicants will be notified of their status no later than May 24. Deposits will be refunded if space is not available. Participants must pay the balance of the registration fee by June 12.