Four Sheridan College agriculture students placed first and second in the Wyoming Society for Range Management's Rangeland Cup on Nov. 12 at the college.
Working in pairs, sophomore Julia Collins of Crowheart and freshman Karyn Rieger of Worland won the competition with a presentation on “Removal of Russian Olive on Rangelands: An Unintended Consequence on Adjacent Land Users.”
Sophomore Torrey Belus of Banner and freshman Trae Holliday of Dayton took second place for their presentation on “Managing Prairie Dogs: Restoring Rangeland Health.”
Students participating in the Rangeland Cup receive their topics in mid-October, and have about a month to prepare research, a speech and a detailed visual poster. They presented their information this year to a panel of six judges, fellow students and members of the public. Both Sheridan College pairs edged a team from the University of Wyoming in the competition.
For their presentation, Collins and Rieger reviewed a case study on the influx in deer population in accordance to management, or not, of Russian Olive. The study covered multiple locations in northern Wyoming. Belus and Holliday identified the ramifications of prairie dogs on rangelands, and provided viable plans for managing the rodents.
Keith Klement, SC director of agriculture, said, “It was very exciting to host the Wyoming Section of the Society for Range Management at Sheridan College this year.
Collins, who grew up on a ranch, and Rieger are majors in natural resources and ranch land management, and Rieger is also studying agriculture business. Belus is studying agriculture business, and Holliday is majoring in natural resources and ranch land management.
The Wyoming Society of Range Management events included lectures, a high school youth forum competition, a tour of the Padlock Ranch and an address from Sheridan College President Dr. Paul Young.
Klement said more than 98 attended the Natural Resource Lecture Series during the event. More than 80 attended the nine-hour general technical session. Six SC students took the undergraduate range management exam, and seven took the range plant identification exam.
SC students participating in one or more of the activities included Karyn Rieger Julia Collins, Trae Holiday, Torrey Belus, Jake Bare, Ian Hamilton, Tayler Wittman, Jasmine Vaira, Spencer Otto, Richard Ramsey, Cam Treeby, Kelli Lockard and Shelly Earhart.