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Youth receive college-level hands-on curriculum at NMSU Youth Ranch Management Camp

CIMARRON – This year’s New Mexico Youth Ranch Management Camp introduced 24 youths to the science and business side of ranching. Most have been “hands” on their family ranch, but many did not know the “why” behind the tasks they have been doing.

Large group of youth gathered around a sign
Twenty-four youth from 14 New Mexico counties and one Colorado county participated in the week-long 2017 New Mexico Youth Ranch Management Camp at the CS Ranch near Cimarron. Participants were, front from left, Ethan Wright, Jameson Ray, Loden Bassett, Delbert Roughsurface and Michael Purdy. Second row: Cheyanne Carlisle, Amber Montaño, Lauren Jensen, Payton Virden, Katelynn Davis, Marissa Lury, Kalei Towner, and Kourtnie Rouse. Third row: John Davis, Wyatt Mortenson, Wade Hatch and Bailey McKnight. Back Row: Clayton Campbell, Juan Bustamante, Patrick Torres, Dylan Quintana, James Mitchell, Jesse Maxam and John Hemphill. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)
Four youth holding long-handled paddles
New Mexico Youth Ranch Management Camp's 2017 team of, from left, Wade Hatch, Katelynn Davis, Michael Purdy and Juan Bustamante presented the winning ranch management plan. The team combined information they had learned during the week to create a plan that demonstrated their understanding of the business of ranching. NMYRMC is conducted by New Mexico State University's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

During the five-day camp at CS Cattle Company’s 130,000-acre ranch at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range near Cimarron, the youths were introduced to the many aspects of running a ranch, from financial statements and marketing strategies to producing quality beef and managing natural resources and wildlife.

“We are proud to offer this one-of-a-kind program for the future cattle producers of our state,” said Jon Boren, New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences associate dean and director of the Cooperative Extension Service. “The collaboration between our Extension specialists, county Extension agents and members of the ranching industry has provided an opportunity for the youth to learn about the many aspects of ranching.”

College-level hands-on curriculum provided the campers with information about how to develop a ranch management plan for a scenario similar to the host ranch.

“What we are finding from the more than 125 youths who have participated in past ranch camps is that they have gained a greater appreciation of the science and opportunities in agriculture,” Boren said. “It is also a win-win for our aging agricultural industry with more young people having an interest in going into this type of work.”

Attending the 2017 camp were Katelynn Davis and Amber Montano of Bernalillo County, Lauren Jensen and Kalei Towner of Catron County, Payton Virden and Loden Bassett of Chaves County, Jameson Ray and Delbert Roughsurface of Cibola County, John Davis of Colfax County, Ethan Wright of Curry County, Kourtnie Rouse of Guadalupe County, John Wyatt Hemphill of Lincoln County, Cheyanne Carlisle of McKinley County, Bailey McKnight of Quay County, Michael Purdy of Rio Arriba County, Jesse Maxam of Sandoval County, Wade Hatch of San Juan County, Dylan Quintana and Juan Bustamante of San Miguel County, Marissa Lury, James Mitchell, Wyatt Mortenson and Patrick Torres of Santa Fe County, and Clayton Campbell of Hotchkiss, Colorado.

On the final day of camp, the five teams presented their ranch management plans before three judges representing the ranching profession.

The 2017 winning team members were Katelynn Davis, Bustamante, Hatch and Purdy. The runner-up team consisted of Montano, Rouse, Torres and McKnight.

A “Top Hand” was selected each day by the instructors for showing exceptional interest in the topics. Receiving Top Hand award buckles were Carlisle, Wright, John Davis and Wade Hatch.