Arthur County, Nebraska, student takes top honors in Old West Range Judging Contest |

Arthur County, Nebraska, student takes top honors in Old West Range Judging Contest

-Society for Range Management-Nebraska Section

VALENTINE, Neb. — One hundred and eighty high school students and teachers from 16 schools from across Nebraska visited Cherry County to test their knowledge of rangeland management during 2017 Old West Regional Range Judging Contest.

Sheridan Wilson from Arthur County placed first in the Junior Division and was the contest Grand Champion. Other top 10 students in the Junior Division listed from 2nd place to 10th place were Raif Ruppert (Loup County), Tye Bruha (Ord), Avery Johnson (Hayes Center) Bridget Slagle (Sargent) Martin Wentworth (West Holt) Ashlyn Jensen (Burwell) Treaven Scheideler (Ord), Quiton Ries (Ord), and Tell Jensen (Burwell). Ninety-one students participated in the Junior Division.

Emily Burke from West Holt placed first in the Senior Division. Other students placing in the top 10 of the Senior Division, listed 2nd to 10th place included: Maria Harthoorn (Ainsworth), Rebecca Taylor (Ainsworth), Joe Kruml (Sargent), Sage Konicek (Burwell), Casey Colburn (West Holt), Colby Mitchell (Burwell), Alex Horky (Sargent), Henry Beel (Ainsworth) and Sam Wilkins (Ainsworth). Seventy-one students participated in the Senior Division.

The members of the first place Senior Team from Ainsworth are Maria Harthoorn, Rebecca Taylor, Henry Beel and Sam Wilkins. West Holt placed second and Burwell placed third. The members of the first place Junior Team from Ord are Tye Bruha, Treaven Scheideler, Quiton Ries and Alex Flessner. Burwell placed second and West Holt placed third.

Nineteen adults also participated in the contest. Mike Kozeal, ag-ed instructor from Sargent placed first in the adult competition, with Monty Larsen from Stuart and Tim Nollette from Cody-Kilgore placing second and third respectively.

Old West Regional Range Judging Contests are open to individuals from Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. Contestants compete as individuals and as teams in either the Junior or Senior Division or in the Adult Division. Range Judging Contests test the participants’ skills and knowledge of plant identification, ecological site identification and composition, rangeland conservation and grazing management. While studying for range judging competitions, students learn about rangelands which cover nearly 50 percent of Nebraska and approximately 60 percent of the United States. Even if these young contest participants do not pursue a career in rangeland or natural resource management, they will gain an understanding of a major natural resource that will be remembered throughout their lifetimes. Additional contest information is available on the Nebraska Section, SRM Website,


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