WRITER: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, firstname.lastname@example.org
The New Mexico Youth Ranch Camp was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the 30 members of the Class of 2018.
During the five-day camp at CS Cattle Company's 130,000-acre ranch at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range near Cimarron, the youths were introduced to the many aspects of running a ranch, from financial statements and marketing strategies to producing quality beef and managing natural resources and wildlife.
"We are proud to offer this one-of-a-kind program for the future cattle producers of our state," said Jon Boren, New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences associate dean and director of the Cooperative Extension Service. "The collaboration between our Extension specialists, county Extension agents and members of the ranching industry has provided an opportunity for the youth to learn about the many aspects of ranching."
College-level hands-on curriculum provided the campers with information about how to develop a ranch management plan for a scenario similar to the host ranch.
"What we are finding from the more than 150 youths who have participated in past ranch camps is that they have gained a greater appreciation of the science and opportunities in agriculture," Boren said. "It is also a win-win for our aging agricultural industry with more young people having an interest in going into this type of work."
Attending this year's camp were Mathis Catron and Lori Robertson of Catron County, Ally Houghtaling of Chaves County; Phoebe Rychener of Cibola County; Miguel Chavez of De Baca County; Ariel Flores, Isabella Flores and Sophia Moreno of Dona Ana County; Cursten Blanton and McKenzie Evans of Grant County; Kyle Knight of Logan County; Dally Carlisle and Bailey Tom of McKinley County; Hunter Alcorn of Mora County; Joey Howland and Conner Scarbrough of Otero County; Gabriela Baca, Amanda Chacon and Samuel Martinez of Rio Arriba County; Lyle Logemann of Roosevelt County; Matt Major of Socorro County; Taylor Miller, Monique Garcia and Raphael Garcia of Taos County; Jaydon Warnke of Union County; Mya Marquez and Julianna Williams of Valencia County; Cecil Shannon of Los Alamos, Colorado; and Alicia Rodriquez of Tucson, Arizona.
On the final day of camp, the five teams presented their ranch management plans before three judges representing the ranching profession.
The 2018 winning team members were Gabriela Baca, Miguel Chavez, McKenzie Evans, Mya Marquez, Matt Major and Julianna Williams. They will receive champion jackets during the Joint Stockmen's Convention, Dec. 5-8, in Albuquerque.
The runner-up team consisted of Dally Carlisle, Amanda Chacon, Kyle Knight, Taylor Miller, Lori Robertson and Jaydon Warnke.
A "Top Hand" was selected each day by the instructors for showing exceptional interest in the topics. Recipients were Lori Robertson, Lyle Logemann, Mathis Catron and Matt Major.
Receiving Top Hand award buckles were Jaydon Warnke, Kyle Knight, Miguel Chavez, Sophia Moreno, Cursten Blanton and Mya Marquez.