Schoon wins first place in rangeland contest
Wed, 06/21/2023 - 10:26am admin
SDSU Extension, Codington Conservation District and South Dakota Natural Resources Conservation Service hosted Rangeland Days and Soil Days on June 14-15 in Watertown, South Dakota.
The 39th annual Rangeland Days and 18th annual Soil Days gave youth ages 8-18 an opportunity to learn about South Dakota’s rangelands and soils. The two-day event included student displays and presentations, field visits, a land and homesite contest and a rangeland contest.
“Rangeland and Soil Days offer a unique opportunity for youth and adults alike to learn more about South Dakota’s natural resources,” says Krista Ehlert, SDSU Extension State Range Specialist. “If you are interested in learning more about soil and rangeland types, along with management of them such as land suitability and grazing methods, Rangeland and Soil Days can offer a great introduction.”
On June 14, registration and student display set-up started at 8:30 a.m. at the SDSU Extension Codington County Office, 1910 W. Kemp Ave. Participants departed for the field sites at 9 a.m. to spend the day learning about rangelands and soils; they also were allowed to practice for the next day’s contest.
Student displays and talks were the evening of June 14. The presentations are limited to 10 minutes and should be applicable to any range-related topics, techniques or resources. On June 15, the contest was held in the morning in the field. The event concluded with awards at approximately 1:30 p.m. CST.
Youth involved in 4-H and FFA ages 14-18 can participate in the Land and Homesite contest to learn more about soils, determining soil texture and type, interpreting soil limiting factors, and determining land capability with management recommendations. The Homesite Evaluation helps students determine suitability of the site for building foundations, lawns and landscaping, septic systems and sewage lagoons.
The rangeland contest was open to four 4-H and FFA student divisions: New Rangers (ages 8-10), Wranglers (ages 11-13), Scouts (ages 14-18) and Go Getters (ages 14-18). Each division judged habitat suitability for beef cattle and prairie grouse in addition to plant identification and morphology. The Go Getter division also had a team contest.
The top Go Getter Range Team and the top Land and Homesite Team in the 4-H divisions will represent South Dakota at the National Land and Range Judging Contest in May 2024 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Other awards were given for the Soils Top Hand and the Rangeland Top Hand. To be eligible for Rangeland Top Hand, a student must compete in all three aspects of Rangeland Days: the judging contest, a student talk and a display. The award goes to the youth with the highest overall score.
Jesse Schoon of Jones County won first place in the Junior Wrangler’s Division at the rangeland contest. Congratulations!