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WFAA-TV/ABC News: Graduate Student Seeks Ways to Apply Energy Education to Family Ranch

As a fourth-generation rancher, Martha Santos, a TCU Neeley Energy MBA student, sits on the Hispanic Advisory Committee for the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo and is studying ways to incorporate sustainable energy into ranching.

March 06, 2023

By Amber Billops

Martha Santos was featured in a news story on WFAA-TV, a Dallas-Fort Worth ABC-affiliate, where she spoke about the value she sees in applying energy sustainability to her family’s ranch, where she raised goats as a young girl. As a TCU Neeley graduate student pursuing an MBA in energy, Santos said she is looking for ways to apply new solutions as fourth-generation rancher.

“It [the ranch] taught me skills from a young age on how to be a valuable part of the operation,” Santos, 31, said.

Maria Santos sits in class with Professor Tom Bates of the Energy MBA program

The country club that sits in Laredo is part of her grandfather’s ranch, which now makes her family’s Laredo land almost all commercial, she said.

“Obviously, I have a pull and a draw to the land,” Santos said. “I don't want to see buildings there where I grew up seeing horses and cattle. But at the same time, that's just part of life.”

With her bachelor’s degree in ranch management from TCU, Santos is now studying energy to develop research on how ranchers can use green energy to stay in business while adapting to new technology.

“I think a lot of people my age, my generation need to step up and think about where we’re going to get our food and manage our resources, so that’s what pushes me to stay involved,” Santos said. “How are we going to manage our resources because they’re not making any more land?”

Santos plans to continue her research in finding answers by using her TCU education and her ranching background.

“I'm trying to think of a different solution while I'm in the program, but I don't know what it is,” Santos said. “So just trying to kind of get exposed and like let the wheels turn and kind of find a way to help the two worlds coexist, because I think it would be great.”

To view the full news story, go to WFAA-TV/Channel 8.