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Oklahoma State University
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OSU Range Club selected as top Range Club in the United States

A recent trip to Sacramento, California, for the 68th Annual Meeting of the Society for Range Management resulted in the OSU Range Club being recognized as the top range club in the country.

It is a  traveling trophy housed at the university of whoever wins it, but the Oklahoma State University Range Club is going to do everything it can to make Stillwater a permanent home for the Collegiate Trail Boss Award trophy.

A recent trip to Sacramento, California, for the 68th Annual Meeting of the Society for Range Management resulted in the OSU Range Club being recognized as the top range club in the country.

“Our rangeland ecology and management students are great. Communications, leadership and professional engagement set the outstanding students above all the others,” said Ed Miller, OSU Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management interim department head. “The Trail Boss Award indicates that, in addition to strong technical competence, our students have developed skills that set them apart now and those same skills will also pay big dividends in their professional careers.”

The high notoriety came from hard work and dedication, said Karen Hickman, Range Club advisor and NREM professor.

“This award truly is a reflection of the quality of students who are a part of our team,” she said. “All the work they put into this meeting is now proudly displayed for all to see in the trophy case in Ag Hall.”

Nearly 400 students from 30 universities in the United States, Canada and Mexico participated in the various competitive categories. OSU has a particularly strong history of success in one category, the Display Board competition, and 2015 was no exception.

Nine of the past 10 years, OSU has finished in the top 3 of this category. This year’s Range Club won first.

“This year’s Display Board showcased the plant and animal diversity found across Oklahoma’s ecoregions,” said Nolan Craun, OSU Range Club president. “Within each ecoregion, we matched the theme of the meeting (Managing Diversity) by highlighting the different management strategies for both native and invasive organisms in each ecoregion.”

The team also presented a poster in the Rangeland Cup competition and placed seventh out of the 24 teams that took the Undergraduate Range Management Exam. Jeremy Schallner, junior range management major and team member, tied for the top individual score.

“The URME is just brutal. It is a long, grueling exam in which students are really put to the test in all areas of range management,” Hickman said. “Jeremy did a fantastic job, which will greatly benefit him when he enters the workforce.”

Professional range managers must pass a similar test to become certified. With the high marks, Schallner is exempt from this test and can fast-track his progression through the field.

Jack Tidwell, Range Club secretary, placed third in the Extemporaneous Speaking contest.

Other team members include Seth Coffey, vice president, Hannah Stevens, treasurer, Clark Roberts, Duel Brown and Corban Hemphill. The team is already gearing up for next year’s meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas.