BROOKINGS, S.D. – This summer SDSU Extension will be co-hosting rangeland events for youth and adults interested in learning more about South Dakota's rangelands or to improve their skills as judges, agri-professionals and stewards of the land.
These events include Youth and Professional Range Camp held June 3-5, 2015 at Lamphere Campground near Sturgis, and South Dakota Rangeland & Soils Days held in Chamberlain June 23 and 24, 2015.
“These events provide a valuable opportunity to learn more about one of the state's most important resources, our rangelands,” said Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist.
Ollila has been actively involved in Rangeland Days for several years, first as a high school Agriculture Education teacher and today as an SDSU Extension Field Specialist. He will be participating in all three events.
Registration is open for all three camps. Read on to learn more.
Registration for Youth & Professional Range Camp, June 23-24, 2015
For more information on the Youth or Professional Range Camps, contact, Tate Lantz, event coordinator, at 605.390.8049 or David Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist at 605.394.1722.
This event is sponsored by the South Dakota Section of the Society for Range Management, in cooperation with SDSU Extension, South Dakota State University, Barry Dunn, South Dakota Corn Utilization Council Endowed Dean of the SDSU College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences, SDSU Extension Director, Belle Fourche River Watershed Partnership, South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, South Dakota Grassland Coalition, National Wild Turkey Federation, South Dakota Conservation Districts, S.D. Association of Conservation Districts, S.D. Association of Agriculture Educators, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDI-Bureau of Land Management and Meade County School District.
South Dakota Rangeland & Soils Days
The Brule-Buffalo Conservation District is accepting pre-registration for participation in the 32nd Annual South Dakota Rangeland Days and 11th Annual Soils Days to be held in Chamberlain, June 23 and 24, 2015.
Registration is $30 and includes meals. It will be held now through June 23, 2015 between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. at Chamberlain High School (1000 Sorenson Drive, Chamberlain).
The Rangeland Days program is an annual event that moves to a different location within the state every two years. This will be the second year Brule-Buffalo Conservation District has hosted the event.
Learning activities have been designed for a variety of age groups and expertise; from 8 years of age through adulthood. Beginners start with plant morphology and identification, working up to evaluating rangelands for suitability as livestock and wildlife habitat. Once the rangeland has been given a “rating” for habitat quality, recommendations for improvement will be discussed and made to meet the goals of the cooperating producer.
As of Jan. 1, 2014 Divisions are determined by experience level and age and they include: New Rangers, 8 to 10-years-old; Wranglers, 11 to 13-years-old; Scouts, 14 to 18-year-old with no prior formal rangeland management instruction; Go-Getters, 14 to 18-years-old, with previous rangeland management instruction; Ranch hand, Adults with no professional rangeland management experience.
The Scout Division is intended to serve incoming high school freshmen or high school age students who have never participated in South Dakota Youth Range Camp or a previous range judging event. Incoming freshmen, based on confidence in their abilities and experience may choose to participate in the Scout or Go-Getter division. This designation must be made at the time of registration.
After a day of active learning, participants will have the opportunity to measure how much they have learned by participating in a contest, suited to the age and expertise. County 4-H teams and FFA Chapters of three or four members can participate in team competition with the top 4-H team earning the right to represent South Dakota at the National Range Judging competition in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma the first Thursday in May 2015.
The travel for this team is partially funded by a $1,000 sponsorship through the 4-H Livestock Industry Trust Fund.
Rangeland Day participants can also compete for awards in the Rangeland Educational display competitions and Rangeland related speech contests in all youth Divisions. Participants who are 14 to 18 years of age, regardless if they are a Scout or a Go-Getter, will compete against each other in the displays and speech competition.
The South Dakota Section of the Society for Range Management provides a sponsorship to cover the travel and participation expenses for the top 14 to18 year-old winners.
The winner of the Rangeland Speech competition will be selected to represent South Dakota in the High School Youth Forum at the Annual Society for Range Management convention which will be held in Sacramento, Calif. February 2015.
A “Top Hand” is selected in each youth division. This award is based on the combined weighted scores in the three areas; judging (40 percent), displays (25 percent) and speeches (35 percent).
The Top Hand in each youth Division will be awarded a Maynard Belt Buckle. The Top Hand in the Go-Getter Division will also receive a 3-foot tall traveling trophy to be displayed in their home for a year. The top performer in the Ranch Hand Division will receive $50 in Beef Bucks.
11th Annual South Dakota Soil Days
In conjunction with SD Rangeland Days, the Professional Association of Soil Scientists is holding its 10th annual South Dakota Soil Days competition for 4-H and FFA members 14 to 18 years of age.
The top placing 4-H team of three to four members will represent South Dakota at the National Land Judging Competition in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma the first Thursday in May 2015.
The 4-H Animal Industry Trust Fund contributes $1,000 toward travel expenses when attending the national event.
Continuing Education Credit offered
Continuing Education undergraduate or graduate credit through the University of Sioux Falls will be offered for successful completion of the Soil Days Adult Program. For a syllabus contact Dave Ollila 605.394.1722.
To request a pre-registration form or a syllabus for the continuing education credit or further information about South Dakota Rangeland Days and South Dakota Soils Day please contact Tina Dehaai at the Brule-Buffalo Conservation District, 605.734.5953. Registration forms can also be obtained by contacting Dave Ollila at 605.394.1722.