Evaluation of a Total Ranch Management Workshop as an Educational Tool to Transfer Technology in Mexico

Rosalia Teliz-Triujeque, Randall H. Williams, J. Alfonso Ortega-S., C. Wayne Hanselka, Eduardo A. Gonzalez-Valenzuela, J. Antonio Hinojosa, Randy Stanko

Abstract


To improve management and achieve goals, ranchers must make critical decisions. The total ranch management (TRM) planning process is an approach to help ranchers maintain better control of the ranch and its future, and is based on the idea of management achievements rather than specific practices. The objectives of this study were to 1) evaluate the effect of a TRM workshop as a method of technology transfer, 2) determine impressions of participants, 3) determine extent of learning, and 4) determine comprehension and utilization of information. Mexican ranchers (n=20) interested in technology transfer attended a 6-d workshop taught by 1 Mexican and 5 U.S. instructors in 2 sessions. The information was divided into 8 themes and adapted from Texas Cooperative Extension’s Total Ranch Management program. Participants were asked to complete a confidential 45-question survey to identify demographics and background knowledge of TRM issues and elements, a 9-question evaluation of each session and instructor, and a 13 question evaluation of the entire workshop. Eleven mo. after the workshop, ranchers were revisited to apply a 26-question, post evaluation survey. Workshop evaluations were analyzed using descriptive statistics and t-Tests. Major enterprises of workshop participants included: cow/calf (63%), stockers (13%), registered cattle (57%), and wildlife (40%). Participants affirmed (61%) they learned the ability to analyze their ranch situation and make better ranch management. Level of understanding of all topics was greater (P<0.01) after as compared to before the workshop. Total mean change in understanding concepts of strategic planning, economics, livestock production, wildlife management, and grazing management were, 48, 39, 54, and 54%, respectively. The TRM program has been proven to be a platform to convey and continue education and improve decision making processes in ranch management. Mexican ranchers are welcoming through TRM technology transfer mechanism that was not in place.


Keywords


Ranch management; technology transfer; agricultural education; Mexico

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