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Generation Next: Our Turn to Ranch starts August 16

Online program for new landowners, agricultural operations
The online Generation Next course is designed to those new to agriculture or returning to the land. Photo by Laura McKenzie.


The Generation Next: Our Turn to Ranch online course is now open for registration. The 12-week program, offered by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, runs from Aug. 16- Nov. 7.

The program cost is $300 and it is limited to the first 100 registrants. Participants should register as soon as possible at

“Not everyone who becomes a landowner in Texas is immersed in its history or involved in agriculture production,” said Megan Clayton, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension range specialist, Corpus Christi. “We’ve developed this Generation Next curriculum with the understanding that land throughout Texas is changing hands all the time.”

She said the program targets new landowners, those who are inheriting land or those who are looking to start a new agricultural operation on an existing ranch.

Building a business plan

The online school allows participants to work toward developing a business plan with support from professionals who specialize in each field and topic, Clayton said. It will address everything from tax implications and insurance needs to developing grazing or wildlife leases.

Attendees will hear from experts who will cover land management techniques and resources, alternative ranching, ecotourism opportunities and direct marketing.

Clayton said participants should plan to spend about two hours per week on the lesson and activities.

“The activities will ultimately build a useful business plan for your operation,” she said.

Past participants recommend course

Past participants have said the course is easy to follow and that the presentations were informative and professional.

“The list of resources that were provided great opportunities to dig deeper on subjects of interest,” said a past program participant. “I’ve definitely expanded my resource library in order to be the best steward of the land and posture myself for the best return on my investment.”

Another program graduate commented, “Generation Next: Our Turn to Ranch is a must-do for anyone who owns or will inherit the family farm/ranch or is considering buying their ‘little piece of heaven.’ The lessons helped me and my sister get organized and set goals as my father transitions into retirement. The three of us have talked for hours and hours about so many things, and my father is excited to help us learn what we need to know as we take our turn.”

Clayton said many of the people who have taken the course say they have received so much information beneficial to running a ranch, including “a lot they didn’t even know they should know.”

For more information, contact Clayton at 361-265-9203.

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