BATH — The South Dakota FFA Foundation proudly announces the recipients of three $100 scholarships for students placing first in each of the three Regional Range Evaluation competitions this fall in Wessington Springs, Wall and Roslyn. The 2017 scholarship recipients are Dalton Howe, Redfield; Anna Beer, Lemmon and Grady Maaland, Deuel.
The scholarships are designed to encourage and reward students’ accomplishments in the field of range management. Scholarships are made possible by a contribution to the SD FFA Foundation from LeRoy and Cathie Draine of Black Hawk. “These scholarships represent a good combination of three important beliefs: first, our respect for the integrity of the land, our soils and water; second, the imperative to provide educational opportunities for understanding and the wise use and care of the land; and third, faith in the process of developing knowledgeable custodians for the future,” said Cathie Draine.
The Range Evaluation Competition, hosted by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, SDSU Extension and the US Forest Service, provides students insight into the basic tools used in land stewardship, which is the application of ecological principles and historically significant disturbance such as grazing. Contest objectives are to teach participants some of the principles of ecology including soil/plant relationships, plant/animal relationships, and plant succession as applied to management of the land resource. Beef cattle and grouse have been chosen to demonstrate the concept of habitat evaluation. Both species are ecologically and economically important and their relationship to different stages of plant succession is well known.