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History of the Program

Early 1950s

Charles Pettit, Roy Parks, Milton Daniel along with support of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle  Raisers Association presented a proposal to establish an educational program to address the needs of the ranching business to TCU Chancellor Sadler.  Chancellor Sadler challenged the group to develop the curriculum and establish funding for the program.


TCU Ranch Training Program began in the fall semester. The first director of the program, Arthur Courtade, along with a group of ranchers combined their educational backgrounds and knowledge of ranching to establish a curriculum that would meet the needs of the modern day ranching business with a concentration on beef cattle production.


John Merrill became the second director of the Program.  Mr. Merrill expanded the curriculum and added the requirement of prior ranching experience for admittance to the program.


The Ranch Training Program name was officially changed to what it is today, Ranch Management Program.


The program flourished and students came from all over the world to attend the respected program.


An evening course was added for individuals who were not able to attend fulltime classes. Ranch Management Professors continued the basic principles of the program while adding new practices and technology to fit the changes in the beef cattle industry.


Mr. Merrill stepped down as director and Jim Link was named the third director of the program. Mr. Link led the program until resigning in 2005 to take a position with the USDA.


TCU began offering a Bachelor of Science in Ranch Management with a Minor in Business, as well as Ranch Management Minor in addition to the certificate program.


Kerry Cornelius became the fourth director of the program after a nationwide search.


The evening program graduated its last group of students and ceased to exist.


The Ranch Management professors began teaching a course which is open to all TCU students. Taught each fall semester, the Challenges of Global Food Production course challenges TCU students to think about the growing world population and explore options for food production and distribution on a global level.


The Ranch Management Program continues the principles the original founders developed while adapting the curriculum to meet the needs of the industry today.

Read more Ranch Management Program History