March 31 - April 2, 2017

Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
San Antonio, Texas

School for Successful Ranching



Friday sessions run from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday sessions run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Selected sessions will be repeated on Saturday, April 1. All sessions will be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

 Friday-Only | Saturday-Only | Repeated Both DaysScroll down for the complete list

Friday Only Sessions

Opening Session: Making the Cow Herd More Efficient by 2037

Beef producers will continue to be asked to provide more pounds of beef with fewer resources. How will our cow herds, and our ranches, have to adapt to meet the continued demand for beef? Help us kick off the 2017 School for Successful Ranching with a look ahead to 2037!

Speaker: Dr. Clay Mathis, Professor and Director, King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management

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Introduction to Genomics

The use of genomic data is becoming a valuable tool for cow-calf producers when making decisions on the ranch. Join us for a session that will introduce you to the world of genomics and help you determine how this management tool can work for you.

Speaker: Dr. Jared Decker, University of Missouri

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Rancher Panel: Using Genomics to Make Management Decisions

Join fellow ranchers for a practical discussion on how they incorporate the use of genomic data into their management decisions on the ranch.

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Impacting Beef Tenderness on the Ranch

National beef quality audits have shown beef tenderness as an area where the beef industry can improve the consumer’s eating experience. Tenderness is a moderately heritable trait and can be affected both by genetics and outside influences. Learn how you can improve beef tenderness on the ranch.

Speaker: Dr. Ty Lawrence, West Texas A&M University

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Genetic and Selection Strategies for Improving Beef Quality

Most ranchers keep calving records and track how their calves gain. Buyers and beef breed associations provide more performance data. How can you use this information? Learn how to incorporate genetic data with your unique environment, consumer preferences and the beef market to optimize your beef production.

Speaker: Dr. Andy Herring, Texas A&M University

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Should Your Ranch Be Incorporated or Not?

Your choice of business entity can have a dramatic impact on your ranch taxes, insurance and liability. There are advantages and disadvantages to sole proprietorships, limited liability companies, partnerships and corporations. Learn what business structure best fits your ranch.

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Generational Transfer of the Ranch

The goal for many ranch owners is to leave the ranch to the next generation. But when that time comes, what does the next generation really inherit? Is the inheritance a gift or a liability? How do you prepare the next generation for the gift the inheritance is intended to be? In this session, we will look at the potential inheritance from the next generation’s perspective and identify some of the primary items that the current generation needs to prepare them for, in order to make the transfer of the ranch a gift and not an overwhelming liability.

Speakers: Dr. Robert Wells and Dan Childs, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

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Cow and Calf Health: Start at the Beginning

A preventive medicine approach to your herd health plan can help save you time and money by reducing the number of sick cattle to be treated. It can also keep your cattle performing better, longer. This session will help you develop a preventive herd health plan and show how the judicious use of antibiotics can support animal well-being.

Speaker: Dr. John Davidson, Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.

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Reproductive Diseases and Prevention

Herd health protocols should be based upon risk and sound science, not tradition. This session will review critically important reproductive diseases with an emphasis on bovine trichomoniasis.

Speaker: Dr. John Davidson, Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.

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Cubes: What’s Right for My Situation?

Supplementation strategies are an important part of cow-calf operations. This session will focus on providing general recommendations for which type of cube or other supplement is right for your operation. In addition to cubes, it will also cover how to utilize blocks, liquid feeds, and other supplements in an operation.

Speaker: Dr. Jason Banta, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

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Solar Powered Pump System Planning

Are you considering replacing your windmill with a solar powered pump system? There is more involved in the decision than just buying and installing the pump. This session will outline how to assess your needs and compare solar pump options.

Speaker: Eric Macias, LORENTZ

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Pollinators and Native Plants: What It Means for Your Ranch

Without pollinators, the future of agriculture and wildlife is doomed. This session will teach you how to manage for healthy pollinators, to ensure that flowering forbs and woody species survive on your ranch. Learn about the habitat requirement of pollinators and how they can benefit your ranch.

Speaker: Ricky Linex, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

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Managing Brush to Improve Cattle Grazing and Wildlife Habitat

New technology is disproving myths and creating new opportunities to combine cattle and wildlife management techniques. Both the land and the rancher’s pocketbook can be healthier for it. Many landowners are looking for guidance in how to manage for both.

Speakers: Dr. Charles Hart, Dow AgroSciences, and Megan Clayton,Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

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Cow Size – Does it Matter?

Cow size has increased on the ranch along with input costs of the cow, yet weaning weights haven’t increased. This session will address how to select for and manage more efficient cows to increase profitability on the ranch.

Speaker: Dr. Ron Gill, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

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Saturday Only Sessions

Water and Ranching

Ranchers need to understand their water rights and the laws that govern the use of water in Texas. These speakers will discuss some of the key questions being asked about water use in the state and possible challenges that may change water laws. 

Speakers: Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and Jim Bradbury, James D. Bradbury, PLLC

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Eminent Domain: Evaluating an Easement Across Your Land

Between oil and gas pipelines, new and expanded roadways, high-voltage power lines, and the proposed Texas Central Railway, landowners across the state are facing the threat of eminent domain. Many of these land takings come in the form of an easement. This session will cover easement drafting, negotiation, the condemnation process, and the proper valuation of land, offering practical information to landowners impacted by condemnation.

Speakers: Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and Luke Ellis, Johns Marrs Ellis & Hodge LLP

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From Gate to Plate: How to Market Your Beef to Retail and Foodservice

Marketing your cattle from gate to plate: tips, advice and information from producers who are actively marketing beef from their ranch to foodservice and retail. Attendees will learn the best ways to market and utilize the entire carcass.

Speakers: Jordan Beeman, HeartBrand Beef, and Dr. Jessica Finck, Merck Animal Health

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Friday and Saturday Sessions

What Drives Profit: Things a Cow-Calf Producer Learns at the Feedyard (Repeat)

Cow-Calf producers rarely have the chance to see how their cattle perform in the feedyard. Learn about what your calves will be doing in the feedyard and how management decisions from conception to the feedyard can affect your cattle.

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Objectively Valuing Feeder Cattle for Buyers (Repeat)

Information matters. Providing information on health programs, genetics and cattle performance can help improve your cattle from a commodity to a differentiated product. Record keeping and understanding how your cattle perform are vital to maximizing your marketing potential.

Speaker: Tom Brink, Red Angus Association of America

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Common Traits of Successful Ranches (Repeat)

Case studies on successful ranches shows that they all have a few things in common. In this session, hear what successful ranchers are doing that sets them apart and learn how you can implement these practices on your ranch.

Speaker: Dr. Rick Machen, King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management

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Value of Proper Injection Sites (Repeat)

Injection sites may not be visible on the outside of the animal, but if given incorrectly, can be doing damage to the muscle beneath the surface. Injection location, route of administration and product used can affect injection sites. Shots given to calves at the beginning of their life can affect beef quality throughout the supply chain, resulting in a poor eating experience. This session will include the use of a cadaver calf that has received proper and improper injections. Along with a treatment map, you’ll get to see how those injections affect the muscle.

Speaker: Dr. Tom Hairgrove and Dr. Joe Paschal, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

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Replacements: How Much Can You Pay? (Repeat)

Is it time to begin expanding your herd? When deciding on replacements, there are many factors to consider: heifers or cows; young or old; bred or open, etc. This session will feature a demonstration of a cow- or heifer-buying decision tool to determine potential profitability based on different replacement selection, price and cost scenarios.

Speakers: Dr. Joe Paschal and Mac Young, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

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Stocking Rate: The Most Critical Decision (Repeat)

Stocking rate is the key decision landowners make regarding a piece of land, but how do you determine the most effective stocking rate? The session will address inventory, adjustments, and how to arrive at the magic stocking rate that balances herd and pasture productivity.

Speaker: Jenny Pluhar and Dale Smith, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

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Marketing Your Cattle: Insider Tips (Repeat)

Do you want to get the most for your calves? Join us for a practical discussion based on years of experience and millions of cattle marketed. Learn tips that can help you maximize the value of your cattle.

Speaker: Ken Jordan, Jordan Cattle Auction

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