Mark your calendars for June 17-19, 2019, for Montana Range Days in Dillon, Mont.
Montana Range Days is the largest rangeland education event in the region, drawing more than 300 youth and adults from Montana and the surrounding states to learn, discuss, and compete for the title of Top Rangehand.
Participants will spend their time outside, studying the rangeland with the guidance of qualified instructors. Workshops include plant anatomy, plant identification, soils and ecological sites, rangeland inventory and monitoring, stocking rates, utilization, and range management planning. The workshops are well-supervised and tailored to different age groups and experience levels. Adults and children of all ages are welcome.
Following the workshops, participants can compete against their age class. Prizes are given for the top three winners in each category and for the top overall score. In addition to the rangeland competition, competitors can present illustrated talks on a range-related topic, provide a range-related display, and submit range plant and noxious weed collections to compete for the title of Top Rangehand.
Three $1,000 scholarships are also available for students who are majoring in, or planning to major in, range science or a related field. The Office of Public Instruction is also offering continuing education credits for all kindergarten through 12th grade teachers who attend.
Tours will be provided on June 18 and 19. Tour participants will visit the Matador Ranch, Helle Ranch, and Maloney Ranch to learn about cutting-edge rangeland management practices. This year’s tours will highlight how brush control and conifer removal can benefit soil health and water availability on the range. In addition, participants will learn simple methods to manage for wildlife conservation while operating a successful livestock operation. Recent developments in sage grouse management will also be discussed.
Activities begin at 1:00 pm on Monday, June 17 with the opening of the practice site at the Beaverhead Trails Coalition trail head. Illustrated talks will take place Monday evening at the Depot Theatre. Those who are not participating in the illustrated talks are invited to attend an educational seminar on sage grouse at the Beaverhead County Fairgrounds.
Register now at www.montanarangedays.org or contact Jamie Cottom at (406) 683-3802 for more information. Registration fees increase on June 10, so don’t wait.