The Warren Ranch is a 6,004-acre ranch located in northwest Harris County. It is part of the historic Katy Prairie which is a prairie wetland complex supporting a large population of migratory birds and other wildlife. Currently the ranch operation is a mix of cow/calf, stockers, agriculture, and hunting. The Ranch Manager will be an employee of the Katy Prairie Conservancy, the majority owner of the ranch, and will report to KPC’s Vice President and General Counsel. The Ranch Manager will work closely with KPC’s Conservation Director on issues related to improving and enhancing the natural resource values of the land. The Ranch Manager will have responsibility of the day-to-day management of the ranch; the Ranch Manager is expected to be part of KPC’s team and to work collaboratively to achieve the goals established for the ranch.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
• Managing a healthy and profitable cattle operation.
• Reviewing the current ranch practices and working to implement an ecologically and financially sustainable land management program that will reestablish or restore the native prairie ecosystem, enhance wildlife habitat, enhance water retention, and minimize erosion in the ranch’s watershed.
• Developing and implementing an annual plan and budget in accordance with long term goals.
• Overseeing all ranch related revenue and expenses.
• Working with accountant to ensure proper recordkeeping and reporting
• Supervising and training a ranch hand or contractors to assist with operations.
• Prioritize and delegate projects to appropriate support resources and oversee ongoing progress
• Negotiating cattle grazing leases where appropriate
• Overseeing hunting activities, and reviewing lease agreements
• Buying and selling cattle to optimize herd size and composition
• Developing markets for ranch calves
• Overseeing grass fed beef sales
• Overseeing ranch maintenance and management operations, including maintenance of ranch structures and equipment, coordination of contractors, supplies, and all aspects of ranch improvement projects
• Working with the Conservation Director to assess the impacts of projects affecting ranch operations and natural resources, including the stream mitigation project, oil and gas and other mineral activities, and adjacent land use issues
• Recommending new revenue streams as appropriate
• Communicating with owners and others as appropriate
• Adhering to internal policies and procedures
• Performing administrative duties as necessary
• Bachelor’s degree in an agricultural or natural resources management field, or business degree
• Minimum 5 years experience with cow/calf and stocker operations, including
o Livestock reproduction and genetics
o Livestock health and nutrition
o Pasture, forage, and native range management
o Livestock and product marketing
o Holistic management practices including Adaptive Multi-Paddock Grazing
o Current natural resource management tools (prescribed fire, chemical, and mechanical)
o Land management and maintenance equipment (tractors, bulldozers and attachments)
• Familiarity with USDA programs administered by the FSA and NRCS
• Knowledge of budgeting and financial reporting
• Understanding of natural coastal prairie ecosystem or ability to quickly get up to speed on this ecosystem
• Experience with wildlife management practices and their interaction with agricultural production
• Good interpersonal and communication skills
• Ability to communicate with public both in writing and verbally
• Experience with GPS and GIS mapping applications desired
• Experience with common software applications (Word, Excel, livestock management software)
• Experience, ability, and willingness to perform physical labor as required
Additional Job Information:
Applicant must be willing to work in physically demanding conditions, after hours and weekends, as necessary, in all weather conditions to perform essential job duties. These include the health and welfare of the livestock along with other production and management activities such as hay production and wildlife management activities. Applicant must have a current driver’s license.
The ideal candidate will understand the balance between having a profitable ranch operation while at the same time ensuring the health of the natural resources found on the ranch. The ideal candidate will be willing to attend classes and workshops to learn new practices, work with others in the agricultural, conservation and ranching community, and explore new ideas and programs that will make the ranch a model enterprise.