Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Grazing Management is Topic of Next Ranching Lectureship

KINGSVILLE - July 13, 2009

Contact: Julie Navejar
julie.navejar@tamuk.edu or 361.593.2590

The King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management at Texas A&M University-Kingsville will host a Grazing Management Lectureship from Monday, July 20, through Thursday, July 23, at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Center adjacent to the campus on Corral Street.

Participants may register until Monday, July 20, and the cost of the lectureship is
$500. The class will be conducted by Dr. Alfonso “Poncho” Ortega-Santos, associate professor and research scientist with the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute. The class will tour three ranches during the course of the lectureship, La Copita Ranch in Jim Wells County, the Welder Wildlife Refuge in Sinton and King Ranch Inc. in Kingsville.

Students will receive a basic understanding of the physiological processes, morphological development, nutritional qualities, palatability of range plants, economic analysis of costs and benefits and supplementation strategies as a basis for grazing management for domestic and wild animals. They also will be taught to understand the impacts of grazing systems on vegetation, livestock, wildlife, watersheds and profitability.

Ortega-Santos was born and raised in Gonzalez, Tamaulipas in Northern Mexico where he helped with the family ranching business. He earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the Universidad Autonoma de Tamaulipa, a master’s degree in animal production from the Universidad “Antonio Narro” of Saltillo and a doctorate in agronomy focusing on grazing management at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

He was researcher and regional research director of the livestock division of the National Research Institute of Forestry, Crops and Livestock (INIFAP) in Northern Mexico before he was moved up to researcher and national leader of the Range and Forage Program of the same institution. This gave him the opportunity to work nationwide with a team of 110 researchers located in 82 experimental stations all over Mexico.

Ortega-Santos came to Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute as a research scientist in 2001.  Most of his research experience has been on grazing management of range and forage plants and evaluation of native and introduced legumes. His research interests focus on rangeland ecology and management for wildlife and domestic animals.

In 1991 and 1992, he received the Researcher of the Year award from the Sociedad Mexicana de Manejo de Pastizales in Mexico, where currently he is a member of the Board of Directors.

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