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KING RANCH INSTITUTE TO HOST MANAGEMENT SYMPOSIUM

King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management will host their 4th annual HOLT CAT Symposium for Excellence in Ranch Management, October 25-26, 2007 at Texas A&M University, Kingsville, Texas.

This year's theme is "Developing Management Strategies for a Changing Ranching Industry." The format will be predominantly workshop style to allow greater interaction, as well as provide a stimulating environment for ranchers to develop strategic plans for their own ranching operations.

“The ranching business is undergoing an unprecedented level of change in everything from the price 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,” said Dunn. “Strategic planning, in combination with scenario planning, are proven business tools that can help ranchers take charge of their future, rather than merely re-acting to it.”

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 Excellence in Ranch Management Symposium, into strategic planning will also be part of the process described during the program.

Dr. Michael Mozzoco of the University of Illinois is this year's keynote speaker, and he will discuss how strategic management can be applied to the ranching industry. After Mazzoco's keynote 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 also brings a practical perspective to the issue,” said Dunn.

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

Dr. Jim Mintert from Kansas State University and Shelby Horn, Vice President of Operations and Cattle Marketing for Farm Management Company, will discuss the impact on the ethanol industry and ranching. Dr. Ted McCollum from Texas A&M University, and Dave Delaney, Vice President and General Manager of ranching operations of King Ranch, will discuss the unprecedented volatility in the marketplace and recommend strategies to cope with it. Dr. Barry Dunn will wrap up the program on Friday.

On Thursday evening, conference participants will enjoy a special banquet featuring a presentation by Adair Margo of the Adair Margo Gallery in El Paso. Ms. Margo 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 special speakers and workshops, there will be tours of King Ranch and social activities designed for networking. There will also 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 will be held on October 24th and is open to the public, however preregistration is required.

Additional details and registration information can be found at http://krirm.tamuk.edu or by calling 361/593-5401. The cost for the informative and progressive program is $150 per person.

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