By CON MARSHALL
Three Chadron State College students were major award winners during the annual International Society of Range Management Convention in Sparks, Nevada, the last week of January.
Approximately 1,400 attended the convention. Twelve Chadron State College students were among the nearly 400 students in attendance. Other participants included producers, educators, researchers, range consultants and government employees.
An entry prepared by Will Krause (Kraus-ee), a Chadron State junior from Spring Branch, Texas, won first place in the Excellence in Range Management poster competition; Missy Jech (Yeck), a senior from Rushville, won a division of the photo contest; and Jessica Hurd, a senior from Gordon, placed fifth among several dozen entries in the extemporaneous speaking contest.
Krause’s 3-foot by 4-foot poster featured both photos and text based on the range management practices used by Terrell Farms located on the Mirage Flats south of Hay Springs, where he had an internship during the summer of 2016.
Jech’s first-place photo features a yucca plant and a fire in the background. She took the photo on her family’s ranch north of Rushville during the burning of pine slash piles when there was sufficient snow cover. She named the photo “Lil Toasty.”
The photo sold during an auction to raise funds for the Society of Range Management endowment.
Hurd said her extemporaneous speech was based on “Keystone Species” that involve mammals and their ecology. Students were given two hours to research and prepare a five- to seven-minute presentation.
Aside from Krause and Vanessa Yoeman of Hot Springs, S.D., the Chadron State students who attended the convention are from Nebraska. They are Kortni Burnett of Shelton, Emily Ann Heiman of Elkhorn, Marina McCreary of Morrill, Myles Mendell of Gothenburg, Travis Millikan of Norfolk, Joel Milos of Bellevue, Alissa Sweeley of Scottsbluff and Melissa VanDerslice of Columbus.
The students participated in the plant identification contest, undergraduate range management exam and chapter display competition and attended a jobs fair and career-building and networking information sessions.
Two CSC rangeland management professors who teach ecology courses, Dr. Anthony Perlinski and Dr. Aaron Field, also attended the convention.
Perlinski is president of the Nebraska Society of Range Management and took over as the chairman of the SRM Advisory Council at the recent meeting. Field is a member of the Range Science Education Council.
Other CSC range management faculty members are Dr. Ron Bolze, a livestock management specialist, Dr. Teresa Frink, who teaches wildlife management courses, and Dustin Luper, who teaches equine management. Chadron State has approximately 135 range management majors, second highest in the nation to only Texas A&M at Kingsville.