Ranch management faculty teach short courses in Panama

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TCU Ranch Management faculty and students spent time in Panama helping Panamanian ranchers learn how to make their operations more environmentally friendly.

The visit to the University of Panama, which took place from Feb. 8-12, was the third formal exchange between Ranch Management and an international program.

TCU was able to customize the program to aim toward the needs of the Panamanians because TCU allows for a great deal of flexibility with its program, said Jeffrey Geider, the director of the ranch management program.

Geider said the discussion centered on “how ranchers need to be proper land stewards and how to produce food in an environmentally sound way.”

Geider said 50-60 people attended. Attendees included veterinarians, representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and members of ANAGAN, Panama’s National Cattlemen’s Association. Available TCU Ranch Management faculty and student fellows traveled to Panama to teach the short educational courses.

Geider said the three main program goals are “to broaden outreach and educational opportunities, to develop relationships and to actively recruit students.”

The recruiting aspect of the program allows for international students to come to TCU and to learn about American agriculture as well as any of TCU’s other programs, such as nursing, business and intensive English.

Last fall, a group of international students came to TCU as part of the program. The program utilizes classroom learning as well as being active in the field. Participants spent three or four days touring ranches and farms as well as two days learning inside the classroom.

Geider said the program has an aim to teach and to apply research that is shared universally. Other programs have taken place in locations such as Brazil and Scotland.