California’s Feather River College (FRC) built on its existing Equine Studies program to create a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Equine and Ranch Management.
The curriculum was developed with input from Agriculture Departments at Cal Poly, Chico State, Fresno State and U.C. Davis. Local cattle ranches from Plumas County also contributed.
The goal of the FRC program is to meet the workforce needs of California. The equine industry is large and growing in California. Coupled with a management focus and environmental emphasis, the FRC program perfectly fits the needs of the agriculture industry.
As part of the degree, students must complete an internship. In the past two years, students have interned in six different states and in wide-ranging businesses such as therapy horses, production cattle ranches, equine reproduction facilities, tourism and dude ranches, bee keeping businesses, U.S. Forest Service, and performance horse operations. Some students have been offered jobs from their internships upon graduation.
The general education portion of the degree includes western history, technical writing, environmental impacts of agriculture, accounting, chemistry, soil science and basic animal husbandry. The bachelor’s degree is not just an extension of the equine associate degree where students learn to train working horses. The bachelor’s degree is preparing students to enter ranch management positions in a wide range of applications.
Graduates have found employment as horse therapy specialist, university livestock technician, horse trainer, owner and operator of horse boarding facility, cattle operations assistant, consultant, Forest Service range management, and bank agriculture lending officer.
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Cutting cattle by Deborah Stacey; CC BY 4.0
Lots of Deer by tomeppy; CC BY 2.0