Milbank student to attend youth forum in Sacramento

Farm Forum

Kiera Leddy, Milbank High School student, has been selected by the South Dakota Section of the Society for Range Management (SRM) to participate in the High School Youth Forum (HSYF), an SRM sponsored youth activity held jointly during the 68th Annual SRM annual meeting. This year’s meeting is being held in Sacramento, California, Feb. 1-5. This year’s meeting theme is “Managing Diversity.”

The SRM is an international organization that strives to promote public awareness of the importance of sound management and use of rangeland, the world’s largest land base. In 1966 the SRM recognized a need to involve youth with the range-related activities and education provided at this annual meeting. Since that time, the HSYF has been a highlight of the SRM annual meetings. Volunteers of the SRM Student Activities Committee conduct the program.

High School delegates to the HSYF are chosen by each of the 21 individual sections of the parent society throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, based on their high degree of interest in the range and natural resources field as well as on their exemplary dedication and effort to learn more about this particular area. While at the HSYF, they will have the opportunity to meet people from many countries and get a firsthand view of what the SRM is all about including its organization, goals and the role it plays on a world-wide basis. Thus, the goals of the HSYF are: 1) provide insight for these students concerning the function and working of the Society; 2) provide opportunities to meet Society members; 3) provide a format that encourages thinking and enhancement of communicative skills; 4) provide an opportunity to learn about range management and future careers through interaction with Society professionals; 5) provide an opportunity to learn

about the ecology and natural resources of the Annual Meeting site; and 6) provide an atmosphere that fosters camaraderie and lasting friendships.

As one of the more important activities, each delegate to the Forum competes in a paper presentation competition with the content covering a range-related topic. All presentations will be judged by a diverse panel of judges with the top five papers being recognized at the SRM awards ceremony. The top paper winner is invited to return to next year’s meeting to help with the Forum and present their paper to the general membership of the Society. In addition, other activities will include a local ecological field tour of the meeting site and a program to enhance communication skills.

Since the number of delegates that can attend each year is limited, selection for this activity is considered a high honor for those students selected. Because of this perspective, the planners of this year’s Forum are excited about the program and activities that have been scheduled and hope to provide both an exciting and rewarding educational experience for all that attend.

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