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International conference bound: Range Club fundraises

staff writer

Published: Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 00:01

Spectrum cleanup

Kylee Larsen photo

Range Club members cleaned up the Spectrum to raise money for a trip to Florida.

USU’s Range Club cleaned up the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum after Saturday night’s women’s basketball game to raise funds for a trip to the Society of Range Management’s 67th International Meeting, Technical Training and Trade Show.

The volunteers went around the Spectrum putting up chairs, sweeping, picking up trash and doing anything else the maintenance crew asked of them. All the effort was to raise money to help send a few students to the society’s meeting in Orlando, Fla.

The group consisted primarily of club members, but others helped as well.

“There are some helpful people here that just want to help the Range Club; friends and family,” said member Garrett Billings.

Cari Forsgren, a senior studying rangeland management and six-time attendee of the meeting, was one of the students helping to raise money. She said the meeting in Orlando has many different aspects to it, including multiple competitions and tests the students can participate in.

Many of the students cleaning the Spectrum mentioned the plant identification competition as one of the highlights of the meeting.

“There’s 200 possible plants, and then there’s 100 on the actual test. You have a minute to identify the plant either from a leaf or a twig,” Forsgren said.

At last year’s meeting in Oklahoma City, USU’s Range Club received many top awards, competing against students from 27 other schools.

“We took first as a range team for both plant identification and range sciences,” said T.J. Knutson, a junior pursuing a double-major in psychology and range resources. “We’re looking to repeat this year. We’re planning on taking 15 students; 15 of the best.”

Knutson will be attending the meeting in Orlando and is very excited for the opportunity.

“I’m looking forward to hearing the seminars so I can learn how to improve my own ranch when I grow up,” Knutson said.

Josiah Maughun, president of the Range Club, said the thing he is looking forward to most is the range tours.

“We go out and look at different rangelands and how various people manage the rangelands,” Maughun said. “That’s exciting stuff to me.”

Even with the fundraising efforts of the Range Club, the students who will be attending the meeting will still have to pay several hundred dollars for the trip.

The Range Club, also known as the USU Student Chapter of the Society for Range Management, “works to promote the development of future range science professionals, continuing education of members and the public, and sustainable rangeland ecosystems,” according to the group’s website.

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