School for Successful Ranching

All sessions will be at the Fort Worth Convention Center

OPENING SESSION: Three Rules of Profitable Cow-Calf Production
Friday, March 23, 8:00 a.m.

Help us kick off the 2018 School for Successful Ranching as Donnell Brown of R.A. Brown Ranch shares his experiences to help make you more profitable. R.A. Brown Ranch won the prestigious NCBA Cattle Business of the Century Award and Brown serves as the 2018 Beef Improvement Federation president. What better way to kick off the event than learning from his experience?

Developing a Herd Health Plan – B

It can be challenging to sort through mountains of information to develop an effective herd health plan and apply it to your own operation. This session will address the what, when and how questions you have about developing a herd health plan for your operation.

Identifying and Treating Common Illnesses – B

Any illnesses you’re seeing in your cattle are most likely common ones. Learn how to spot the warning signs and what to do if you have an animal health concern.

No Vet? Now What? – I

Sometimes, it can take a few days for a veterinarian to make it out to your operation. In the meantime, what should you have on hand to help you treat the animal for injury or illness? This session will help you build your cattle health arsenal.

Value of Proper Injection Sites – B

This popular program is back in 2018! Injection location, route of administration and product used can affect how injection sites react. Join Dr. Joe Paschal and Dr. Thomas Hairgrove for a demonstration of how proper and improper injections can affect beef cuts.

Herd Health Plan Workshop (Two-Hour Session) – B

Did you attend the Developing a Herd Health Plan session and want more in-depth information? Join us for this extended workshop and walk out with your own herd health plan! Oh, and there will be homework before the event to get the most out of your time!

Ask an Ag Lawyer (Two-Hour Session) – B

This interactive session will feature agriculture lawyers answering your questions! This is a unique opportunity to get personalized answers to questions on a variety of critical issues like water law, oil and gas law, eminent domain, property issues and much more.

Ranch Estate Planning – I

Join Jacqueline Davie of Lincoln Financial Agribusiness Services for a unique perspective on some of the top estate planning mistakes. Using classic game shows to illustrate the points, the session will cover topics like how a “Family Feud” can be avoided; how to keep from playing “The Newlywed Game” with a new family member; and how to negotiate with a sibling who wants to cash out of the business by “The Price is Right.”

Negotiating and Drafting Grazing and Hunting Leases – I

Join Tiffany Dowell Lashmet as she breaks down the key considerations when entering a grazing or hunting lease. Topics covered will include an overview of common legal issues, the importance of a written lease agreement, setting lease rates and landowner liability laws.

Human Resources – A

As your operation grows, you may need to hire additional people to help run your business. It is critical to hire and keep the best people to help reach your operation’s goals and keep you out of trouble! This session will cover how to hire and motivate your employees.

Liability, Worker’s Comp, Agritourism and Other Legal Issues – I

Did your neighbor come to help you work cattle and break an arm? Did one of your employees hurt himself working on your tractor? Did you lease out part of your land for hunting and one of the hunters stepped into a hole and broke an ankle? If you’ve ever experienced something similar (or want to be prepared if it happens!), this session will address those issues and give you tips on how to protect yourself.

Start at the Beginning: Soil Health (Two-Hour Session) – I

Without the proper soil foundation, you can’t be successful with your range and pasture management. Focusing on soil health will help you get the most out of your best resource — your land. Learn why soil health is important, the benefits of healthy soil, and how to you can impact your soil health.

Forages: What Does It All Mean? – B

There are several types of forages and understanding what’s best for you can be challenging. This session will get to the bottom of this topic and discuss everything from nutritional quality to how to grow and maintain forages.

Stocking Rates: The Same for Everyone? – B

One of the most asked questions when evaluating pasture is: “How many cows can I run?” Well, this question isn’t as easy to answer as some might think! The appropriate stocking rate is critical to the overall health of your land, but the answer is different for everyone based on location, forage quality, cover, soil health and other factors. Bring your calculator, because this session will give you the tools to determine your own stocking rate.

Developing a Job Description for a Cow – B

Many of the problems cow-calf producers face are the result of cows not matching well with the acreage, forage supply and quality, or environment. This session will get you thinking about what really fits your operation and how to make sure your cows are working for you, not against you.

Year-Round Sustainable Grazing – I

Join Dr. David Bade as he teaches you how to develop year-round grazing systems in a sustainable and economical way. Learn the varieties, management and utilization of improved pastures to work for your operation.

Grazing Systems Explained – B

Rotational grazing, mob grazing, year-round grazing. These are just some examples of grazing systems. Understanding the mechanics of each of these systems will help you determine which is the best fit for your operation and how to maximize the use of your land while maintaining its health.

Using Genomics to Make Management Decisions – A

The use of genomic data is still intimidating to some but has potential to make significant herd improvements. We’re here to shed some light on this topic in terms you can understand. No talk of SNPs (snips) and chips here — just straight talk about how you can utilize the data. If used correctly, genomic data can help you make better management decisions for your operation. We all know that due to the time it takes to breed a cow and raise its calf, it’s not a fast process to change characteristics in your herd. Why not give yourself a head start?

Bull Selection Panel – B

Do you sit there on sale day and still wonder which bull to buy? Have you found the right breeder to buy your bulls from? Join this interactive session presented by well-known bull producers to get some inside tips on what you should be looking at when it’s time to buy your next bull.

Making Genetics Work for You – I

Beef genetic prediction (and sale catalogs!) are becoming more complex. Join Dr. Jared Decker as he discusses why genetic prediction technology can be trusted and used. You will also learn how economic selection indexes simplify breeding decisions.

Breed Characteristics: An Overview – B

This session will help you understand the characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of each breed to help you determine what breed, or combination of breeds, will help you reach the goals of your operation. We’ll discuss purebred and crossbred applications.

Genomic Data Review Workshop – I

Review data from multiple herds with different goals to learn how to better interpret genetic information. Depending on the goals of your operation, you may select for completely different traits than would the person sitting next to you. Come learn how to apply the information to your operation.

Developing a Herd Nutrition Plan – B

By starting with basic animal nutrition, we’ll help you piece together everything you need to develop your own cow-calf nutrition plan. Dr. Stephen Blezinger will simplify the process and help you understand the key components to making good, cost-effective decisions for your herd’s nutrition.

Supplementation: When, How and What – B

When to supplement? How much to supplement? What type of supplement to use? These questions will be answered during this informative session. Though every operation is different, there are some basics to choosing the right supplementation and you’ll leave this session with that information.

Nutritional Requirements at Each Stage – B

Do bred cows need different nutrition? What about cows with calves, or bulls? Understanding the nutritional requirements of your cattle at different stages and in different environments will help you tailor your nutritional program to your operation.

Cattle Nutrition Plan Workshop (Two-Hour Session) – B

Did you attend the Developing a Herd Nutrition Plan session and want more in-depth information? Join us for this extended workshop and walk out with your own herd nutrition plan! Oh, and there will be homework before the event to get the most out of your time!

Creating Cash Flow and Developing Wealth with Cattle – I

Creating wealth with a cow herd is not just about producing calves. Herds also produce inventory value with retained heifers as they become bred heifers and cows. These cows will maintain value until they are five years old. As the cow ages, the value drops until they reach market cow value. Capturing the appreciation of the heifer calf and stopping the depreciation of the cow can greatly increase the cash flow of the cow herd.

Using Key Performance Indicators to Manage Your Ranch – A

Don’t be intimidated by the title. Stan Bevers of Ranch KPI is one of our most popular speakers and will help you interpret your ranch data to make decisions on the operation. As the national beef herd expands, the possibility of lower prices is apparent. Learn to review your production and financial performance to set yourself up to weather anything that comes your way.

Ranch Record Keeping – B

Record keeping is an essential for beef cattle producers. However, many fail to keep records or are not collecting the information needed to help achieve management goals. This session is designed for producers at all stages of record keeping and will start with the basics. Whether you use a pencil and paper or herd management software, this session will start you on the right track.

Working Together to Market Better – B

Many owners of small herds are unable to get the most from their calves because they can’t market the number of calves needed to leverage the higher prices. You can work together, though! By working with comparable herd owners on calving time, genetics, and animal health plans, you can begin to put loads together to receive higher prices. Learn how to move from a price taker to a price maker!

Marketing Your Cattle: Insider Tips – B

Do you want to get the most for your calves? We’re betting that the answer is yes. To get there, Ken Jordan of Jordan Cattle Auction will share his years of experience in a practical discussion based on millions of cattle marketed. Learn tips that can help you maximize the value of your cattle.

Niche Markets Explained – I

You may often hear about niche marketing, but what do terms like organic, natural, and grass-fed really mean? Each program has its own guidelines and requirements. This session will try to unravel some of the information in a way that will help you determine if that program fits your operation.

Learning Tracks

Look for these symbols next to each class set to determine which learning track they belong to. You can follow all classes from one track or mix and match to fit your specific needs.


Learning Levels

The School for Successful Ranching provides you the time to explore what is relevant to you, offers information you can use at home right away, and has classes that will help you stretch and develop better ranching skills. Use this guide to choose School sessions that will benefit you the most and be appropriate to your level of experience and learning goals.

Beginner (B)

We welcome School attendees who have limited experience with the subject area and those who need an introductory understanding of the topic.

Intermediate (I)

If you have some experience, these sessions are designed to build and enhance your existing knowledge.

Advanced (A)

Appropriate for those with significant experience and those who wish to learn up-to-date information and heighten their expertise.

School for Successful Ranching Presentations

Presentations made at the School for Successful Ranching provide a lasting educational resource that you and your family can reference for years to come. Presentations will be made available two ways:

Free Download:

One week prior to Convention, all registrants will be provided with a link to download all presentations. You are welcome to print the presentations on your own or reference them on your mobile device.

Proceedings Book:

If you prefer a hard copy for your bookshelf, pre-order a bound copy of the presentations. Special Early Registration Proceedings Book Price $25 Available only to those who register by March 12, 2018. Limited quantity will be sold on-site at full price.