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Agricultural News

OSU Range Club Cleans Upat National Competition

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 20:58:04 CST

OSU Range Club Cleans Upat National Competition The Oklahoma State University Range Club recently competed with university range programs from Mexico, Canada and across the United States at the 65th Annual Meeting of the Society for Range Management in Spokane, Wash.

The seven members of the OSU Range Club won the Display Board competition, placed 5th in the Rangeland Cup and competed in the Undergraduate Range Management Exam.

John Scasta, doctoral student at OSU, was one of 74 students from 26 universities who participated in the graduate student competitions. Scasta earned a first place finish in the PhD level oral paper competition over the “Impact of patch-burn grazing management on fly pressure on range cattle in the Great Plains.” He received a score of 61 out of a possible 65.

The undergraduates had success also, winning the Display Board competition.

“This year the students developed a display board focused on linking events in the rangelands of Oklahoma to the theme of the Spokane meeting, ‘Lessons from the Past, Strategies for the Future,’” said Karen Hickman, professor in the department of natural resource ecology and management, and co-advisor of the Range Club. “This year's board focused on the land management practices implemented from the lessons we learned following the Dust Bowl.”

The Rangeland Cup provides some situational problem solving, as teams are posed a question or scenario and try and discover the path to the best outcome. The task was to identify and describe two special-status species that co-occur in rangeland ecosystems and how management actions that favor one species may lead to the decline in the other.

The OSU Range Club chose the Lesser Prairie Chicken and the black-footed ferret. They then developed a management plan that would benefit both species equally.

The Range Club members also took the Undergraduate Range Management Exam, which tests their working knowledge of rangeland ecology and management.

“It’s an extremely difficult exam,” Hickman said.

Aside from placing exceptionally well and earning national recognition, the club members were able to interact with other students in the field of study and professionals from around the country.

“Being a member of the Range Club is such a great networking opportunity,” said Hickman. “It really helps increase the success of finding employment through interaction with professionals who work in the field.”

The OSU Range Club members attending the meeting include Kenzie Foster, president, Diana Neumeyer treasurer, Ben Coble, vice president, Cyndi Park, Jennifer Nicholson, Dillon McCarthick and Chism Horton. These members all served as Oklahoma ambassadors at the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau booth promoting next year’s annual meeting, which will take place in Oklahoma City and hosted by the Oklahoma Section of the Society for Range Management.

The meeting is expected to draw approximately 1,500 people to the city, which is exciting for Hickman who is the chair of the 2013 meeting planning committee.

“Being host for this meeting allows the Oklahoma Section of the Society for Range Management to highlight for people who haven't experienced this area of the US, the unique features of Oklahoma and the great things Oklahoma City has to offer,” Hickman said.



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