KINGSVILLE, Texas — The King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management (KRIRM) will offer a hybrid symposium Oct. 14-15, 2021, titled Sustainable Ranching: Navigating Challenges and Embracing Opportunities. The 18th Annual HOLT CAT® Symposium on Excellence in Ranch Management will be delivered simultaneously in Kingsville, Texas, and online.
In the past, “sustainability” was a relatively simple concept within the ranching industry. It was passing on the ranch to sustain the next generation by taking care of livestock and wildlife and maintaining or improving the natural resources for generations to come. As social interest in food production and environmental health has grown, the traditional definition of sustainability expanded. Today, sustainability is a focal point of discussion for our society as a whole. The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) defines sustainable beef as “a socially responsible, environmentally sound and economically viable product that prioritizes planet, people, animals, and progress.” The definition of sustainability is broad, and thus it is very difficult to measure. The ranching industry can benefit from a deeper understanding of current sustainability-related efforts in ranching and food production, as well as perspectives of producers and consumers.
“This topic is, and will continue to be, a very important part of ranch management,” explained KRIRM Director and Endowed Chair Clay Mathis. “We’ve designed a forward looking symposium to offer an overview of sustainability, the challenges in front of us, and most importantly insight on how to navigate through those challenges to find opportunities.”
The overview of sustainability mentioned by Mathis will be presented from a systems perspective that examines the topic through a big-picture lens so the ranching industry can find leverage to shape the future. Representatives from the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, Golden State Foods, KRIRM, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Texas Agricultural Land Trust, and the Noble Research Institute will also deliver presentations on the first day of the symposium. These presentations will touch on animal welfare, carbon and methane, ecosystems services of ranching, and an introduction to regenerative agriculture.
Presentations will also address metrics for measuring environmental soundness and influencing social acceptance. Attendees will also learn about measuring economic viability at the ranch level and how to find opportunity in marketing sustainability. A ranch perspective on a sustainable success story will wrap up symposium shared by Cherie Copithorne-Barnes, CEO of CL Ranches, Ltd. of Canada. All presentations in Kingsville, Texas, will be simultaneously delivered to the virtual audience via a Zoom webinar.
“We hope this symposium will shed light on the ever-changing landscape of sustainable ranching and offer the latest information on the subject in a way that producers will feel confident in making impactful decision back home on the ranch,” said Mathis. “We are excited to offer the integrated virtual attendance option so that ranchers, landowners, and professionals can take advantage of this learning opportunity without the need to travel.”
The symposium will also include an industry trade show that will be open during the two-day event. Attendees can enjoy an evening social and dinner on October 14 as the 2021 Texas Farm Credit Certificate in Advanced Ranch Management recipients are recognized. The symposium concludes on October 15 with a tour of the historic King Ranch, which will focus on King Ranch’s unwavering dedication and rich history of sustainable ranching.
The registration fee is $150. To view more details and to register, visit krirm.tamuk.edu/symposium or call 361-593-5401. Stay in touch with symposium updates by signing up for the KRIRM e-newsletter online and following KRIRM social media accounts.
Created and endowed in 2003 by the King Ranch family in celebration of the legendary ranch’s 150th Anniversary, KRIRM’s mission is to sustain the ranching heritage through education, innovation, and outreach. As part of Texas A&M University-Kingsville, KRIRM offers the world’s only Master of Science in Ranch Management degree. Through the applied research program, KRIRM provides innovative solutions to improve ranching systems. The outreach component of KRIRM delivers rancher learning opportunities through lectureships and symposia that address relevant topics in the ranching industry. Learn more about KRIRM and its commitment to sustaining the ranching heritage at krirm.tamuk.edu.
–King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management (KRIRM)
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