The Colorado Ranching Legacy Program is a cooperative endeavor between Colorado State University (CSU) and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), designed to give young and beginning ranchers fundamental skills in range livestock production and ranch management.

The Colorado Ranching Legacy Program is a cooperative endeavor between Colorado State University (CSU) and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), designed to give young and beginning ranchers fundamental skills in range livestock production and ranch management. The Colorado Ranching Legacy Program provides ranchers with insight to the latest university research and industry trends in order to keep ranching relevant in the 21st century, and ensure that it will continue for generations to come.

The 2016 class recently met in Delta County for their educational practicum. The class started out with a tour of Homestead Natural Meats, a USDA-inspected processing facility and retail store front located in Delta, Colorado.

Homestead Meats started from a group of six family ranches, so they have the ability to have complete control of the entire production process to guarantee that they produce the highest quality products. CCA President, Tim Lehmann then gave a chute-side ultrasound demonstration. This technology allows producers to identify those animals that are not suited for breeding; saving time, money and effort. Then, the class toured Stirrup Bar Ranch, a cow/calf operation with irrigated farms for hay production. This ranch has made water improvements, manages USFS permits, and uniquely markets their cattle. The following day, the class toured a BLM allotment managed by the LeValley family and learned the importance and different techniques of range monitoring from Robbie LeValley and Chase Roeber.

The next practicum is scheduled in December at CSU in Fort Collins. The program continues to mature and improve, bringing in quality speakers from across the United States and exposing the next generation of ranchers to new techniques and technology to be successful in their ranching operations. The participants are also challenged with critical thinking exercises working through case studies pertaining to the tools and subjects that they have learned throughout the program. Participants are also challenged with creating a detailed business plan for their ranches and looking at their specific operations with a critical eye.

CCA has recently gone through an organizational restructure and is undergoing a long range plan. As a result, the Ranching Legacy Program will be revamped to even better fit the needs of future students. An announcement will be made in the upcoming months on the new and improved program.