Just wanted to let you know of a program we developed and have
been offering here in Wyoming for the last several years. Some of you may be
interested in attending. To learn more, you may want to check out our Web
Page @-- http://www.uwyo.edu/ag/agecon/wirepage.htm
+ John Hewlett Phone: (307) 766-2166
+ Farm/Ranch Management Specialist Fax: (307) 766-5544
+ WIRE Program Coordinator E-Mail: HEWLETT@UWYO.EDU
+ University of Wyoming
What is W.I.R.E.?
W.I.R.E. stands for "Western Integrated Ranch/Farm Education, a concept
of management which provides practical tools for integrating management
of the physical, biological, financial and human resources of agricultural
How does W.I.R.E. approach management?
W.I.R.E. emphasizes the process of management--setting goals, priorities,
making decisions, planning, budgeting, keeping records and performing
evaluations with personal goals and optimization in mind rather than
particular production technologies.
The process begins by setting goals, which provides the manager with a
clear focus on what he/she wants to accomplish through the operation and
a view of how it can be done. Managers also need a thorough analysis of
where they are and what they have to work with--a thorough inventory of the
operation's current status--its physical and financial resources, the
operator's management skills, etc. This is done at the more general or
strategic level of management.
Once the operator has a clear picture of where he/she is and where he/she
wants to go with the operation, W.I.R.E. provides the planning and decision
making tools for how to get there. At the tactical level of management,
operator becomes much more specific about what enterprises the
operation will have, what technologies it will use, what changes will be
implemented, what it will cost in time, labor and dollars and what the
expected results are. Serious analysis of how enterprises relate to each
other and what the desired set of enterprises might be in the operation is
also carried out.
Finally, management plans have to be implemented. W.I.R.E. deals in detail
with the practical, on-the-ground, how-to-do-it questions. At the
level of management, the operator decides the specifics of how, when, and
by whom the management plan is to be accomplished, and how it is likely to
impact his/her financial situation. The operator is also provided
on how to monitor the various resources and respond to changes in a
positive, proactive way. W.I.R.E. gives managers the tools to understand the
relationships and interactions of the major ranch resources like soil,
water, rangeland, crops, livestock, wildlife, finances, human creativity and
All of these resources are assessed and made to "flow" together, much like
the familiar "cash flow".
Who developed the W.I.R.E. Program?
The W.I.R.E. course has been specifically adapted for Western producers
from Total Ranch Management a course developed by the Cooperative
Extension Service in Texas. A team of Wyoming Extension specialists and
agents spent considerable time modifying and fine-tuning the excellent
framework developed in Texas.
How is the W.I.R.E. course taught?
The W.I.R.E. course is team-taught by agents and specialists who helped
design the W.I.R.E. course materials. A detailed, six year case study, based
on an actual ranch or farm, illustrates many of the concepts and specifics
the management process. Participants will be able to use or adapt many of
the planning, record-keeping, and analysis tools from this practical case
study to their own operations.
While course content includes some formal presentations, its emphasis is
on "hand-on" work in small groups or as individuals, with practical problems
in agricultural management--some of which may involve financial
calculators and computers. Two afternoon field trips or labs are included
in the course. Technical presentations will concentrate on the options used
in the case study. The instructional team is dedicated to teaching the
philosophy and process of good management, as well as technical
knowledge about various resources.
In addition to the case study materials, a reference handbook covering
each major ranch/farm resource is provided. These materials include
technical/scientific information regarding the management of the resources
and their use in agricultural operations.
Where and When is the Course Being Offered?
Expansion of the course is being funded by a Western Region SARE grant.
Teaching teams have been trained from the states of Montana and Utah.
Courses are scheduled in these two states, as well as in Wyoming for the
coming Fall/Winter/Spring. The Wyoming courses are listed below.
PROGRAM #1: (range livestock case study)
October 30-31, 1995; Douglas, Wyoming
November 6-7, 1995; Douglas, Wyoming
November 13-14, 1995; Casper, Wyoming
PROGRAM #2: (range livestock case study)
November 2-3, 1995; Sheridan, Wyoming
November 15-17, 1995; Buffalo, Wyoming
PROGRAM #3: (farm case study)
February 6-7, 1996; Powell, Wyoming
February 20-22, 1996; Worland, Wyoming
PROGRAM #4: (range livestock case study)
May 14-16, 1996; Laramie, Wyoming
May 21-23, 1996; Laramie, Wyoming
Contact me for program schedules for other Western states @:
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