Central Wyoming College is an emphasis in agriculture education and Ben Rux is leading the charge.
Rux, a Crowheart area farmer and rancher with a master’s degree in agriculture and range management, was hired in 2010 to build on existing transfer programs in agri-business and agriculture/range management and to develop an applied program, as well as certificate and credential programs, in Farm and Ranch Resource Management.
Fortunately for those who are taking notice of an agriculture career, livestock and commodity prices are at record highs. The supply is tight and the demand is decent, especially from overseas for beef, lamb and wool. And with the expanded production of ethanol, corn is exceptionally high.
The agriculture “lifestyle” isn’t sustainable, Rux said if there isn’t a strong business plan and risks are not managed.
There are multiple programs already in place at CWC that compliment an agriculture program, including the sciences, automotive and welding, business, equine studies, health and safety and the natural resource side of agricultural production. CWC’s Fire Science program corresponds, too.
“The courses that we already have here fit in quite well with our agriculture curriculum,” he said. “You really have to be a jack of all trades if you’re looking to start or continue an agricultural business. We have a lot of classes to help develop those skills.”
At the same time, Rux has built a strong agricultural curriculum, including courses in agro- ecology, farm and ranch business records, livestock production, feeds and feeding, soil science, rangeland plant identification and soil science.
Ben also works with the CWC rodeo team in developing marketing skills.