An interdisciplinary center, hosting both in-person and online masters programs, fostering research, and coordinating outreach.
Integrated Resource Management (IRM) is the concept within agricultural production that addresses economic and environmental variables that are oriented toward a more sustainable production. Changes in rural America require agricultural managers to manage land, animal, human, and natural resources, ensuring both long term profitability and sustainability of farms, ranches, and rural communities.
At the same time, society demands preservation of open space and outdoor recreation as a requirement in both urban and rural areas. Preservation and sustainability of agricultural land is vital for food security, wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation, and continuing the rural heritage of families and communities. The Master of Agriculture degree gives students the knowledge and skills necessary to operate an agricultural business efficiently and sustainability while making a profit.
All courses combine rigorous training with directed hands-on, problem-solving experiences. Our programs stress interaction between faculty and students and assure that the content studied applies to real-life land management scenarios. In addition to formal course work, students are expected to participate in a minimum of one, preferably two, internships as well as complete a professional paper.
Our interdisciplinary research programs address specific problems facing Colorado range livestock producers. Past and current projects target nutrition, reproductive management, quality assurance, land resource management, economic efficiency, intensive sheep management and intergenerational estate transfer.
WCIRM's outreach programs stretch from high schools to the seasoned rancher. Students and faculty tackle questions such as how mandatory country of origin labels affect independent producers, how to choose a farrier, and what landowners need to know about wind energy lease agreements. Short, descriptive pamphlets that result from our outreach efforts are available on our Links page.
The Western Center for Integrated Resource Management provides a vital service to Colorado's ranching community while training graduate students to handle practical, tough current issues.