Conservation Matters January 2015

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Generation Next classes will cover profitably getting involved in the family ranch

Generation Next classes will cover profitably getting involved in the family ranch

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is offering two-day schools around the state this spring for adult children and grandchildren of landowners who want to get involved in the family ranch.

Generation Next: Our Turn to Ranch School will be held at three locations beginning in early March, according to Dr. Megan Clayton, AgriLife Extension range management specialist.

“The schools are for anybody interested in starting an agricultural business,” Clayton said, “but we especially want to provide this opportunity for children and grandchildren of landowners. Staying connected to the family ranch is difficult, especially when there’s not an obvious way to make a profit.”

Many end up needing to find careers outside the property, making it difficult for them to return to the ranch when their parents or grandparents are ready to retire, she said.

“As a result, we’ve seen a decline in the number of agricultural properties staying in the family,” Clayton said. “So this school helps heirs explore profitable enterprises to supplement existing ranching operations. This two-day school is a great place to start for those wanting to get into or stay involved in the ranching business.”

The schools will be held March 5-6 in San Angelo, March 12-13 in Stephenville and April 9-10 in Corpus Christi.

The registration fee is $100 per school until two weeks prior to the course and $175 thereafter. College students can attend for $75. The fee includes two days of classes taught by expert instructors, a resource notebook, digital copies of resource publications and materials, five meals and a certificate of completion at the end of the course.

Registration will be limited to the first 50 participants, so early signup is encouraged.

“The first day will be spent learning how to set up a new business,” Clayton said. “We’ll discuss drawing up effective wildlife and livestock leases, marketing agricultural products and protecting one’s investment by understanding insurance and tax opportunities. The second day will explore cutting-edge land management techniques, ecotourism opportunities and other alternative ranching operations that could be coupled with existing practices.”

“Staying connected to the land and finding your place in the family ranch can be difficult, but these schools are specifically designed to provide ideas and direction to make multi-generational ranching successful.”

To register, go to or call 979.845.2604. For more information, contact Clayton at, call 361.265.9203 or contact your local county Extension office.

Read the full AgriLife Today news release for more details. 

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