Workshop Addresses the Future of Colorado Ranching

Ranching has been a part of Colorado’s culture and vital to its economy since the pioneers moved West. But this tradition is slowly declining as a growing number of ranchers face a series of new and complex challenges.

The Western Center for Integrated Resource Management in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University, along with the National Western Stock Show Scholarship Trust Fund, is pleased to host the 12th annual Nick Petry Workshop on Friday, Dec. 2. The workshop will include topics designed to help Colorado ranching carry on its legacy by being prepared to meet the demands of modern range management.

The theme of this year’s workshop is “Ranching at the Frontier: Ecosystem Services and Decision Tools.”

The workshop focus is around range management. The speakers will address how to evaluate the health of the land and how to make ecologically sound management decisions. Today’s land managers have to be able to understand and manage the land for long term sustainability. This topic is at the forefront of ecological research at CSU. Speakers for the workshop include: Maria Fernandez-Gimenez, associate professor, Forest Rangeland Watershed Stewardship, Colorado State; Jay Parsons, assistant professor, Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State; Justin Derner, Agricultural Research Service, Cheyenne, Wyo.; and Josh Goldstein, assistant professor, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State.

“With this workshop, the Western Center for the Integrated Resource Management joins with the National Western Stock Show to continue to honor Nick Petry’s memory. This year’s topic addresses the changing management strategies of Western ranches,” said Kraig Peel, director of the Western Center and assistant professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at Colorado State.

The one-day workshop will be held at the National Western Stock Complex, Centennial Room, 4655 Humboldt St., Denver, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Registration is free, but it is required before Nov. 19. Registration is available online at Lunch will be provided to all registrants.

The Nick Petry Workshop is in honor of Nick Petry, a long-time Stock Show president and chairman. Petry was dedicated to the Western way of life, especially ranching, Western livestock production, and funding to improve National Western facilities.

The Western Center for Integrated Resource Management is a graduate and outreach program that provides training in the integrated management of land, animal, human, and natural resources. The focus of the program is on sustainability in the ever-changing agricultural environment. It combines rigorous academic training with directed hands-on, problem-solving experiences that allow graduates to succeed in real-life management positions, ensuring long term profitability and sustainability of farms, ranches, and rural communities.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Furuiye at (970) 491-1610, or visit