Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Fourth King Ranch Institute Symposium Focuses On Management Strategies

KINGSVILLE - August 06, 2007

Contact: Julie Navejar
kajam03@tamuk.edu or 361-593-2590

Keynoter Michael Mazzocco to discuss strategic management and the ranching industry

The fourth annual HOLT CAT Symposium for Excellence in Ranch Management will be held Thursday and Friday, Oct. 25-26, in the Memorial Student Union Building at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. The symposium is hosted by the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management, part of the College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences at the university.

This year’s theme, Developing Management Strategies for a Changing Ranching Industry, will be conveyed predominantly workshop style to allow for greater interaction. This format also will provide the proper environment for ranchers to develop strategic plans for their own operations. Additional details and registration information can be found at http://krirm.tamuk.edu or by calling 361-593-5401. The cost for the symposium is $150.

“The ranching business is undergoing an unprecedented level of change in everything from the cost and availability of inputs, to the price and the method of how cattle are being valued in the marketplace,” said Dr. Barry Dunn, executive director of the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management.

“Land prices are soaring, as are opportunities for adding additional income with enterprises based on wildlife,” he said. “Strategic planning, in combination with scenario planning, are proven business tools that can help ranchers take charge of their future, rather than merely reacting to it.”

This year’s symposium topics center around developing management strategies for a changing ranching industry brought upon the industry by new external forces. Topics to be addressed include the impact of the new ethanol industry on ranching, the changing marketplace for livestock and volatility in the industry. Incorporating the balanced scorecard approach to ranch management, the topic of last year’s symposium, into strategic planning also will be part of the process described during the program.

Dr. Michael Mazzocco, interim director of the Office of Corporate Relations for the University of Illinois, is this year’s keynote speaker. He will talk about how strategic management can be applied to the ranching industry. In his current position, Mazzocco is part of a service unit of central campus administration tasked with supporting and enabling industry-campus interactions, including developing sponsored research, gifts in support of programs, student recruiting and the Research Park. He also is associate professor with appointments in the department of agricultural and consumer economics. Before accepting the interim appointment, he was director of the Food and Agribusiness Management Program and assistant dean for corporate relations in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Prior to earning his doctorate, Mazzocco was a commercial banker, specializing in financing businesses. His research focuses on applied decision analysis, both at the operational and strategic levels. His undergraduate and graduate teaching has covered a broad spectrum of topics in food and agribusiness management.

After Mazzocco’s address, participants will then rotate through concurrent workshops to discuss and learn about the impact of three new forces on ranching. “As in past years, the format of each breakout session will include a team approach, with an expert from academia addressing the topic, along with a rancher who brings a practical perspective to the issue,” Dunn said.

Other speakers include

Brian Bertelson, director of field operations of U.S. Premium Beef, and Wayne Fahsholtz, CEO of the Padlock Ranch in Wyoming, who will discuss the changing livestock marketplace and offer and explain alternatives for ranchers to consider;

Dr. Jim Mintert, professor of agricultural economics at Kansas State University, and Shelby Horn, vice president of operations and cattle marketing for Farm Management Company, who will discuss the impact on the ethanol industry and ranching; and

Dr. Ted McCollumm, professor and extension beef cattle specialist from Texas A&M University, and Dave Delaney, vice president and general manager of ranching operations of King Ranch Inc., who will discuss the unprecedented volatility in the marketplace and recommend strategies to cope with it.

On Thursday evening, conference participants will enjoy a banquet featuring a presentation by Adair Margo of the Adair Margo Gallery in El Paso. She will share slides and insights on the legendary western painter and author Tom Lea to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his classic book about the King Ranch and the 100th anniversary of Lea’s birth.

In addition to the speakers and workshops, there will be tours of the King Ranch and social activities designed for networking. There also will be a pre-symposium educational event concerning beef producer management and practices as outlined by the Texas Beef Quality Producer Program. This portion of the symposium will feature the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Beef Quality Assurance guidelines. This activity will be held Wednesday, Oct. 24, and it is open to the public

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