Skip to Content

The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

WySRM awards: Range managers and students awarded for work during WySRM meeting

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

During the Wyoming Section of the Society for Range Management (WySRM) annual meeting, held virtually Dec. 3-4, members were recognized for their contributions to the organizations and students competing in applied rangeland management contests were awarded for their efforts. 

Society awards

             The WySRM Award of Merit, given to those who have made noteworthy contributions to the section, was awarded to Julie Elliott from the Colorado Section of the Society for Range Management (SRM) and Chuck Butterfield from WySRM. Elliott and Butterfield served as co-chairs of the planning committee for the 2020 International SRM meeting held in Denver, Colo. Feb. 16-20. 

            The Outstanding Man of Range Award was presented to University of Wyoming (UW) Northwest Area Range Extension Educator Barton Stam for his work as an educator and his leadership for the UW Extension Range Initiative Team. 

            “Over the course of his career, Barton has emerged as the leader of public lands grazing issues,” said UW Rangeland Extension Specialist Derek Scasta. “Barton is regularly sought after by ranchers and federal agencies, specifically the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to mediate and provide expert input on controversial subjects. He has been very serious about improving as a practitioner and teacher, as well as creating tools and curriculum to deliver for issues not necessarily easy or comfortable to address.” 

            Certificates of Appreciation for their time and effort in putting together the 2020 SRM annual meeting were awarded to Justin Derner, Jason Brengle, Jason Pindell, Martin Curry, Joe Budd, Michelle Buzalsky, Blaine Horn, Windy Kelley, Marji Patz, Mae Smith, Thad Barrett, Chuck Butterfield, Julie Elliott, Jake Powell, Will Rose, Kasey Dollerschell, Jessica Crowder and Brenda Schladweilder. 

Student awards

            In the extemporaneous speaking event, Kenneth Raymond of Sheridan College placed first with his speech on the topic, “Are all native range plants the same?”

            The plant identification contest presented awards in two categories – student and Pro-Am, where students are paired with a range management professional. Colby Tadra of Sheridan College placed first, followed by Courtney Geck of Northwest College in second and Amanda Bayles, also from Northwest College in third in the student section. 

In the Pro-Am category, Tadra and Thad Berrett of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) in Buffalo placed first, followed by the team of Bayles and Corey Farnsworth of the USFS in Utah in second, and the duo of Geck and Bree Burton of Y2 Consultants in third.  

            “The 2020 Undergraduate Range Management Exam was modified to accommodate the virtual meeting and the pandemic,” said Contest Chair Justin Derner. “It moved from a traditional multiple choice question test for students to scenario-based questions focusing on applied aspects of rangeland management.”

            The two questions students had to answer and discuss with a panel of experts were based on drought management strategies and outcome-based grazing. 

WySRM would like to thank Sage Askin, Shannon and Melinda Sims, Neils Hansen and Cheryl Newberry for their on-the-ground knowledge and expertise during the contest. The Sheridan College Range Club team consisting of James Argeris, Kenneth Raymond and Creed Carlson submitted the winning answers. 

            UW graduate students completing their masters and PhD presented their research during the WySRM meeting Nov. 3. In the masters student division, Hannah Kuhns of the UW Ecosystem Science and Management Department (ESM) placed first with her presentation on integrated management of leafy spurge in a riparian ecosystem and Courtney Buchanan, also of ESM, placed second with her presentation on understanding relationships between microbiome, diet and body condition in free roaming horses. 

            In the PhD division, Ryan Wilbur placed first with his talk titled “Prometheus’ Fire: Mixed methods approach to understanding the spread of pyrodiversity in ranching communities,” and Jake Hennig placed second with his presentation focused on the response of sage grouse habitat quality to feral horse use.

            Averi Hales is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

Back to top