Five speakers will outline ways to adjust to changes in grazing, climate, business, educational and rural environments at a program during the 17th annual Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium Oct. 12 at Ruidoso Downs Race Track.

The program, “Ranching in a Changing Environment,” is intended to address creative and innovative approaches to ranching in a dynamic environment in the West. Speakers from New Mexico State University, the Jornada Experimental Range, the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park and the Burnt Well Guest Ranch will address the many changes facing traditional ranching.

Moderator Kris Havstad, supervisory scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service at the Jornada Experimental Range, north of Las Cruces, will introduce the theme and speakers at 1:15 p.m.

Joel Brown, a rangeland ecologist at the Jornada Experimental Range, will speak at 1:30 p.m. on “Our Changing Climate.” Brown’s research interests include agricultural systems’ response to climate change, applications of ecology to land management and technology transfer in extensively managed agroecosystems. He has a Ph.D. in shrubland ecology from Texas A&M University.

Stephanie Bestelmeyer, executive director of the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park in Las Cruces, will speak at 2 p.m. on “Science Education Programs for Students in a Global Environment.” Since 2000, Bestelmeyer has been director of the nature park, where she leads science education programs that are given to more than 12,000 students, 300 teachers and 2,000 other adults each year in southern New Mexico and west Texas. She has a Ph.D. in zoology from Colorado State University.

Derek Bailey, director of NMSU’s Chihuahuan Desert Rangeland Research Center, north of Las Cruces, will speak at 2:30 p.m. on “Managing an Altered Forage Environment.” Bailey’s research focuses on livestock distribution and behavior. He has a Ph.D. in range science from Colorado State University.

Kim and Patricia Chesser, owners of the Burnt Well Guest Ranch, near Roswell, will speak at 3:30 p.m. on “Changing a Traditional Livestock Operation into a Guest Ranch.” Burnt Well Guest Ranch is a small, family owned and operated guest ranch that is also a working cattle and sheep ranch.

Jack Wright, head of the Department of Geography at NMSU, will speak at 4 p.m. on “Conserving a Changing Rural West.” Wright’s research focuses on land conservation. He earned his Ph.D. in geography from the University of California-Berkeley.

A panel discussion will follow at 4:30 p.m.

Registration, $25 per person, includes hors d’oeuvres and admission to a concert that evening with Ray Price & the Cherokee Cowboys. To register, call Janis Rowe at (505) 378-4142.

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