The King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management Offers One-Of-A-Kind Degree
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The world’s biggest ranches need strong managers to ensure America’s ranching heritage can survive, but only one place in the world offers a master’s degree in ranch management.
At Texas A&M University-Kingsville, the King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management is a small, elite and highly selective program that uses the King Ranch as its laboratory. Students in the program are unique: They must be proven cowboys or cowgirls with experience managing ranches, and they have to possess the ability to handle complicated coursework in business and finance.
“The King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management is one of the many programs that sets The Texas A&M University System apart,” Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp said. “The King Ranch and Texas A&M University-Kingsville have created an institute that is a tribute to ranching and a pipeline for the next generation of managers of the world’s greatest ranches.”
See a video with Chancellor Sharp at the ranch here: https://www.tamus.edu/system-videos/.
Students and graduates have worked at some of the world’s most famous properties. One student recently created a drought management system for all 15 of the ranches owned by media mogul Ted Turner, who is the second largest individual landholder in North America. Also, a recent graduate is now running the cattle operation at the King Ranch, and other graduates can be found at top ranches across 15 different states.
Dr. Clay Mathis, the director of the program, said that only 38 people have graduated from the unique program since its creation about 15 years ago, but they already have made an enormous contribution to the industry.
“We are trying to train the very best of the best,” he said. “In time, we could grow in numbers, but we want to make sure, first and foremost, that we are training a small number of people to be the very best that they can be, so they can have the broadest impact on our industry through the ranches that they manage.”
Their numbers might be small, but the acreage that they manage is not. Graduates of the King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management manage more than 4 million acres of land in the U.S. Save & Exit
The family members behind the King Ranch — one of the birthplaces of the American ranching industry — helped create the institute to give back to the ranching community. The creation of the program came as part of the celebration of the ranch’s 150th Anniversary in 2003.
James “Jamey” Clement, Jr., chairman of the board of King Ranch Inc., said the board saw need for a national ranch management program and pathway to better ranching operations nationwide.
“We wanted to give back to the industry and the community, and we thought this was most effective way to do that,” Clement said. “The university is a great resource in the community, and I think the program is good for both the Texas A&M System and the ranching industry.”
About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.7 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 153,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $996 million in FY 2017 and helped drive the state’s economy.
Contact: Laylan Copelin
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