College of Agriculture

CSU, Chico Takes Top Placings in Annual Rangeland Cup

Announced on: Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018

Range Cup team with awards

Two teams from the CSU, Chico College of Agriculture took first and second place in the Rangeland Cup competition at the 71st annual meeting of the Society for Range Management Jan. 28–Feb. 2 in Sparks, Nevada. The Rangeland Cup is a problem-solving competition to promote critical thinking and collaborative work on current issues facing rangeland ecology.

The competition is intended to build skills in interpersonal communication and group-problem solving, both of which are highly desired qualities in the workplace. Students were given the opportunity to display their research in the field and present it to industry professionals. Bridgette Eldridge, Cassidy Cunningham, Sierra Blackford, and Kera Deakins received the first place award with their presentation exploring the conflict among stakeholders involved in livestock grazing on watersheds. Alejandro Orozco-Lopez, Johnny Rowe, John Boyes, and Austin Steele received second place with their topic of “Wildfire: Prevention vs. Suppression.” A total of 11 teams from 9 universities across North America participated. Kelley Duggan, John Boyes, and Alejandro Orozco-Lopez also competed in the extemporaneous speaking competition.

The SRM annual meeting, themed “Empowerment through Environmental Science,” offered abstract sessions discussing current research in the field and opportunities for students to interact with range professionals from across the country. Bridgette Eldridge, an animal science major, said that the conference helped in developing a deeper understanding of research on the forefront of range management issues.

“I was able to network with many range professionals and expand my knowledge about rangeland management,” Eldridge said. “It was absolutely worth attending, and I encourage other students to consider taking the range class and exploring range management with the range club on campus.”

The CSU, Chico group was led by animal science professor Kasey DeAtley.

“I continue to be impressed by the students I get the privilege to teach and mentor,” DeAtley said.