Ranch symposium geared toward ‘living the legacy’

Nov 11, 2008

Ranch symposium geared toward ‘living the legacy’

What happens when it is time to pass the family ranch on to my children? When I take over the ranch, will I be as good a manager as Dad? These questions and many others will be answered dur ing the Fifth Annual HOLT CAT Symposium on Excel lence in Ranch Manage ment. This year’s sympo sium, Living the Legacy: Transitioning Ranch Owner ship and Management to the Next Generation, will be held Thursday and Friday, Oct. 30-31 at Texas A&M Univer sity-Kingsville.

The annual symposium is hosted each year by the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management, part of the university’s Dick and Mary Lewis Kleberg College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences. This year’s topic stresses the importance of a smooth transition and consistent operation between genera tions.

Early registration is $150 through Friday, Oct. 17, and $200 thereafter. “There is no topic more important to rural America than this one,” said Dr. Fred Bryant, director of the Cae sar Kleberg Wildlife Re search Institute at A&M- Kingsville. “Major issues such as maintaining open space as wildlife habitat and view sheds, enhancing func tional watersheds and preserving our ranching and hunting heritage are at stake. We must make sure this generational transition happens on a landscape scale, or we lose something precious and dear to all of us, city dweller and rural citizen alike.”

This year, the keynote speaker is R.L. “Dick” Witt man of Wittman Consult ing in Culdesac, ID. He manages an 18,000-acre family farm partnership in Idaho that involves crops, cattle and timber. He also provides consulting ser vices and seminars in fam ily farm business and fi nancial management.

Entertainment for Thurs day evening’s dinner will be provided by Red Steagall, who is best known for his Texas swing dance music. In his 35-year career in enter tainment, Steagall has spanned the globe from Aus tralia to the Middle East, to South America and to the Far East. He has performed for heads of state including a special party for President Ronald Reagan at the White House in 1983. Other speakers include Dr. Wayne A. Hayenga, pro fessor emeritus from Texas A&M University, extension economist and attorney; Dr. Don J. Jonovic, Family Busi ness Management Services; and Dr. Danny Klinefelter, professor with Texas A&M and extension economist.

A pre-symposium training on livestock handling will be held Wednesday and Thurs day, Oct. 29-30, also at Texas A&M-Kingsville.

“The workshop couldn’t be held at a better time than now with the current media attention on animal handling in packing plants and auction barns,” said Dr. Barry Dunn, executive di rector of the King Ranch Institute.

The pre-symposium, Stockmanship and Stew ardship: Forgotten Skills of Cattle Handling…And More, is being conducted in collaboration with the Na tional Cattlemen’s Beef As sociation, National Cattle men’s Foundation, Texas Beef Council and King Ranch Inc. The speakers are Curt Pate, effective stockmanship and instruc tor livestock handling ex pert; Ron Gill, Texas A&M livestock specialist; and Todd McCartney, cattle man, cowboy and RFD-TV host. The cost for the pre symposium is $50. Participants may register for both events at krirm.

tamuk.edu and may get more information by calling 361/593-5401 or e-mailing krirm@tamuk.edu. — WLJ