Jan 092012
 
Authors: Craig Beyrouty

The Collegian story “Colorado State’s sale of Y Cross Ranch prompts outrage from donors,” published Jan. 6, was disappointing because it misled readers about use of this ranch and the university’s educational focus.

While CSU is enormously grateful to the Davis family for the gift of the Y Cross Ranch, it simply has not proven to be the research and educational resource for our students that we had hoped it would be.

A potential sale could be far more beneficial to students by providing scholarship funding.
CSU students and faculty have infrequently used the ranch in 14 years of joint ownership with the University of Wyoming, in part because few students want to travel northwest of Cheyenne for internships. Only a handful of CSU students and classes have taken advantage of field experiences at the Y Cross during the last decade and a half.

This use pales in comparison to the dynamic education occurring in other field settings.
In fact, experiential learning is a hallmark of undergraduate education in CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences. Our Department of Animal Sciences requires that each of some 800 students completes an internship before graduation precisely to gain the relevant, real-world experience needed for success in the agricultural industry.

CSU owns several properties for this purpose: the Maxwell Ranch north of Fort Collins and the Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center near campus receive the most use because of their proximity. Additional student options will continue to include the Rouse Ranch near Saratoga, Wyo.; the Eastern Colorado Research Center near Sterling; and the Southeastern Colorado Research Center near Lamar.

In contrast to the limited student experiences the Y Cross has provided over the past 14 years, if a ranch sale does proceed, hundreds of thousands of dollars would be provided annually for scholarships for agricultural students.

Under this scenario, far more students would benefit from Y Cross sale proceeds. Moreover, the endowed Y Cross scholarship fund would benefit students in perpetuity – a critically important contribution in light of our current economy, in which many families struggle to send students to college.

Selling the ranch has always been an option under the gift agreement with the Davis family, and is in accord with the wishes of our partners at the University of Wyoming. We believe this option would provide the greatest benefit to the most students over the long term.

We shared this information with the Collegian prior to publication, and it’s disappointing that none of it was reflected in the story that ran.

Our College of Agricultural Sciences – with or without Y Cross Ranch – will always assure hands-on learning opportunities for all our graduates.

Sincerely,

Craig Beyrouty

Craig Beyrouty is the dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University

The Collegian story “Colorado State’s sale of Y Cross Ranch prompts outrage from donors,” published Jan. 6, was disappointing because it misled readers about use of this ranch and the university’s educational focus.

 Posted by at 1:31 pm

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