In 2003 Texas A&M University-Kingsville, along with the King Ranch, introduced their Master of Science in Ranch Management program to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of King Ranch.
Fifteen years later it still remains the only Master's Degree of Ranch Management in the world.
This master's program is taking ranching education to another level, to help meet the ever-changing needs of the 21st century.
“The Institute was founded on the idea that it would create a place for graduate students to be trained, mature, experienced ranch managers to be developed into excellent managers of complex ranches in today’s often difficult business environment,” said Director of the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management Clay Mathis.
Ranching is a constantly changing business. It isn’t enough just to be a cowboy these days.
“The students that come here are those that want to hold on to the traditions of ranching, yet embrace the complexity of the world we are working in today. Agriculture is complex,” said Mathis.
The program's curriculum is unique, as each student’s plan of study is tailored to strengthen his or her skills and intellect in all areas of ranch management, including animal science, wildlife management, range management, business and system analysis.
“One thing that is unique about the program is it is really a leadership development program. All of us here have been stretched, and grown, and pulled in ways we didn’t know were possible. So the leadership component is huge as well,” said graduate student Candace Weeda.
This two-year, intensive study program is not only challenging in the classroom, but also out in the fields.
“We get to work on a lot of different things. Projects for different ranches, classes here at Kingsville, and it also has field trips to different operations. We also do an internship and a thesis project at the end. So like I said, very complex and gives us a really broad professional experience in the ranching industry,” said Weeda.
“The sole purpose of our master's degree program is to train managers of complex ranching operations. We have 35 alumni, they manage over 4.8 million acres of land and over 130 thousand beef cows,” said Mathis.
The King Ranch Institute, which was created in 2003 to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the King Ranch, is the only Master's Degree program of its kind in the United States. Each year, the Institute selects a handful of students to be part of this unique and one-of-a-kind academic program.
For more information visit: http://krirm.tamuk.edu/
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