WyoTech Starting Year-Round Ranching Program

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The leading automotive, diesel, and collision trade school is starting an experiential program for people with a passion for agriculture and the outdoors.

WyoTech is excited to announce its year-long ranch training program in Laramie, Wyoming. This program is for people of all ages 18 and up interested in agriculture and the outdoors, whether they have no experience or some ranch or farm knowledge.  

The one-of-a-kind, experiential ranching program is a unique opportunity for people who want to cultivate a passion for agriculture and push themselves to their limits. The Ranch Operations Program will offer enrollment twice per year: July 3, 2023, and Jan. 2, 2024.

"Working on the ranch builds a lot of character," said Jim Mathis, president and CEO of WyoTech. "There are days that are truly glamorous: you've got the sunrise and the sunset, beautiful weather. But not every day is fun. In fact, a lot of days are plain hard work. But at the end of the day, you see the fence you built, the corrals you might have created, the calf that you pulled, and you think, 'Wow. I did that.'"

Although the program is specific to ranching in Wyoming, the skills learned can be applied to any other agricultural area. The 12-month program teaches participants about ranching while developing qualities like grit, tenacity, integrity, and an appreciation for nature and agriculture. Although the program is not federally accredited to receive financial aid, agriculture, trades, and other scholarships can be applied for to assist with funding.  

Through the Wyoming Ranch Training program, students can earn multiple agriculture-related certifications through classroom theory and direct experience working in the ranch environment. Experiences include operating equipment, learning haying operations, working with livestock, fencing, range management and more. These experiences all take place while working out in the weather, including beautiful summers and extreme winters, and developing a tough mentality and willingness to adapt to the conditions of the environment. "I think the hardest part of the program will be putting up with the diverse weather we have in Wyoming, but that's where you really learn who you are and what you can handle … when you get tested by the fire, you know that you can make it through it," said JD Mathis, WyoTech's Off-Site Training Programs Coordinator.

"The thing that excites me the most about the new ranch program is the fact that it is skills-based," said Che Balcom, Wyoming Ranch Training instructor. "We have been taught to sit down and be quiet in the classroom, and this is going to be a very different style."

WyoTech offers dormitories for living quarters, although opportunities may present themselves for students to voluntarily stay on various ranches across the region on certain occasions. The program is broken down into six-week phases beginning with summer operations involving irrigating, rotational grazing, equipment operation, haying, marketing calves, fencing, and land capabilities. 

For more information on how to get involved with the program, visit ranching.wyotech.edu

About WyoTech   

WyoTech, formerly known as Wyoming Technical Institute, is a for-profit technical college founded in Laramie, Wyoming, in 1966. WyoTech provides training programs that prepare students for careers as technicians in the automotive and diesel industry with nine-month training programs that focus on hands-on experience.   

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