PANHANDLE PERSPECTIVES: High Plains Ranch Practicum accepting applications for 2017 class

By Aaron Berger, Extension Educator, Kimball-Banner-Cheyenne counties

The High Plains Ranch Practicum, a national-award-winning livestock extension program in its 11th year, is being offered beginning in late June and concluding in November.

The High Plains Ranch Practicum School is an in-depth ranch management school hosted jointly by Nebraska Extension and the University of Wyoming Extension.

Enrollment is limited to 35. Participants must register by June 9. Registration forms are available at

The High Plains Ranch Practicum is an eight-day, four-session, hands-on educational program designed to give participants the skills and application of management tools needed to be successful in today’s complex ranching industry.

Sessions will be held in Cheyenne, Wyo., and on area ranches. The hands-on experiences with time in the classroom will help to solidify concepts learned in the Practicum.

The course will focus on providing ranchers with tools to understand and integrate four areas of ranch management: range and forage resources; integrating nutrition and reproduction; cost of production analysis; and family working relationships.

“Ranchers able to integrate these four areas into decision-making will find they can use a systems approach to improve the long-term profitability of the ranch operation,” said Berger, also one of the instructors.

Participants will benefit from instruction and current research in range livestock production, financial management, and marketing systems.

Wilma Post, a rancher from Banner County, attended the practicum together with her daughter Camy Anderson and shared her perspective about their experience.

“One of the most beneficial things about the Practicum was that it presented so many opportunities to discuss the details of planning and financial exercises of decision making,” she said. “Taking the class together with my daughter opened up many avenues for conversation about what takes place in our operation.  It was a great opportunity to explore new ideas!”

Mount said attendees enjoy the camaraderie with other participants, instructors and facilitators throughout the practicum.

“Friendships and exchanges of ideas among participants will be some of the most-valued aspects of the program,” he said.

There is a $600 fee for individuals or $900 for a couple that covers materials, instructor costs and meal expenses.

      For additional information or to register, contact Nebraska Extension Educator Aaron Berger at (308) 235-3122, or UW Extension Educator Dallas Mount at (307) 322-3667 or

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