Purchasing land for the first time and entering the cattle business as a rookie can be a daunting endeavor, says a Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert.

"New land purchases are often made by individuals who don’t have a firm understanding of the plant and animal ecosystem," says Dr. Larry Redmon, AgriLife Extension state forage specialist. "There’s a tremendous learning curve when someone has acquired land and goes into the cattle business. There are a lot of questions on how to do things. There’s a need for this type of information to be presented in a simple way, and we hope to do that through our Ranch Management University program."

The workshop, scheduled Oct. 12-15 in College Station and sponsored by AgriLife Extension, is designed to help new landowners have a better understanding of resource management.

Topic discussion begins with soils and soil fertility and proceeds to cover the basic aspects of ranch management, Redmon says.

"Those aspects include forage species selection, hay production, weed and brush management, beef cattle breed selection, nutrient requirements and feeding strategies for livestock. We’ll also cover grazing management strategies and the popular chute-side talk and live-animal handling demonstrations of vaccinations, dehorning and castration."

Good record keeping, marketing plans and alternative enterprises will also be discussed.

"Many properties today are purchased for recreation and in Texas this means wildlife," Redmon says. "To address this need, wildlife management issues will also be covered."

Wildlife management topics will range from white-tailed deer management, dove and turkey hunting and management, ranch pond management, and feral hog issues.

Field demonstrations will include soil and hay sampling, assessing body condition scores for cattle, a look at forage variety trials, grazing management, a deer necropsy and hog trap construction.

About half of the program will be spent in a classroom setting, while the remainder of the time will be spent in the field. Lunch and supper will be provided Oct. 12-14, and lunch will be provided Oct. 15. Five and one-half private pesticide applicator license continuing education units will be offered.

A resource CD containing dozens of publications covering ranch management will be provided. Attendance is limited to the first 75 people. For additional information, contact Redmon at 979-845-2425.

For registration information, go to http://agrilifevents.tamu.edu and type in “Ranch Management” as key words. Registration may be completed online at the site.