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Overview

Ah, home on the range. But what exactly is a range, anyway? Rangelands are the grassy areas where livestock graze. Back in their heyday, cowhands used to work and camp across the west on forage lands, raising and herding animals on plentiful wild grasses and plants. Unfortunately, the contemporary American landscape does not have quite the space and resources for livestock and wildlife it once did. Protection and conservation of these remaining pastures falls to students of range science and management.

One part scientist, one part cowhand, range science and management majors study rangelands, arid regions, and grasslands, learning how to manage these areas for maximum efficiency, animal health, and environmental balance. In addition, you’ll take classes in wildlife biology, plant sciences, ecology, soil science, hydrology, and livestock management.

SAMPLE CURRICULUM

  • Arid Land Plants

  • Farm and Ranch Management

  • Fire Ecology

  • Grassland Ecosystems

  • Grazing Cattle and Sheep

  • Introduction to Animal Sciences

  • Plant Species and Physiology

  • Range and Animal Nutrition

  • Resource Measurements

  • Wildland Restoration and Ecology


HIGH SCHOOl PREPARATION

Take biology, chemistry and any other physical science courses your school offers. Some high schools specialize in agricultural education; others offer vocational agricultural programs that cater to students in nearby towns, so investigate the possibilities in your area. In your free time, get involved in an agricultural organization, such as the 4-H Club.