Buckaroos, Range Smarts and Lamb Barbeque
For 34 years, Montana Range Days has been educating Montanans about all types of Rangeland Management. What began as a small one-day workshop has grown to a 3-day event with over 300 participants. Workshops on all aspects of Range Management are offered for adults as well as children. Tours, entertainment, competitions, and prizes are all part of the event.
In 2010, Montana Range Days was held June 14 to 16 in Miles City, Montana. The "Buckaroos, Range Smarts and Lamb Barbeque" video produced by NRCS student employee, Byrhonda Lyons, describes the history of Montana Range Days and features highlights of the 2010 event.
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Buckaroos, Range Smarts and Lamb Barbeque (SWF; 21 MB)
The production is also available on DVD and can be requested by contacting publications. Be sure to include the title of the DVD and your mailing address with your request. A Transcript of "Buckaroos, Range Smarts and Lamb Barbeque" Video can be read on this Web page.
Transcript of "Buckaroos, Range Smarts and Lamb Barbeque" Video
GROUP OF CHILDREN:
Who’s having fun? The Buckaroos!
Little nervous, little excited but I think it’ll be fun.
I think that it’s a great program that Montana has and I hope it continues.
It’s really really fun.
Well, It’s been a really good experience. I’ve had a lot of fun here.
It’s awesome! I wish we could do this every day!
For 34 years, Montana Range Days has been educating Montanans about all types of Rangeland Management. What began as a small one-day workshop for only Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H students has grown to a 3-day event with over 300 participants.
JAN PRATT, RANGE DAYS COMMITTEE CHAIR:
Montana Range Days is basically workshops on all aspects of Range Management – ID, plant anatomy, identification of soils and range sites determining stocking rates and inventorying rangeland resources and definitely including range planning.
With a binder filled with information to cover and only 1 day of instruction, a lot of time is spent just preparing for range days.
CALI HILLIARD, INSTRUCTOR - ECOSYSTEM EXPLORERS:
We got these booklets and read thru them and got together at this instructional thing and everybody brought their different ideas for games to help with the practices.
And believe it or not, the instructors aren’t the only ones that spend a lot of time getting ready for Range Days.
BRANDON GOULD, YOUTH/FFA PARTICIPANT:
I’ve been preparing for the whole contest but the speech is really the hard part.
The speech Brandon is referring to is none other than the Illustrated Talks–one of the most anticipated contests during Range Days. To compete in Illustrated talks, students have to research a topic related to Rangeland Management and present their research before a panel of judges and a crowd of spectators.
I’m competing with all the other FFA and 4H and open kids that are my age in the whole state right now. I’m mostly competing for Top Range Hand –which is a combination of all the other events–plant collection, poster, illustrated talks, and then our practical test knowledge.
And while the older kids were preparing for competitions, the younger participants – who were too young to compete – spent their time learning the basics about plants and having fun at the same time.
KATRINA LANNEN, INSTRUCTOR - BUCKAROOS:
These lovely tube socks –if you’ll notice –are picking up seeds. So later, we are going to make books of note cards and glue our seed. Isn’t that going to be fun?” (Buckaroo, Katelyn, nods her head.)
Once they finished making their booklets, the Buckaroos had even more fun at the Range Riders Museum. As for The Ecosystem Explorers, who were also too young to compete, their workshops were filled with interactive lessons and art and crafts.
INSTRUCTOR, ECOSYSTEM EXPLORERS:
Each of you take one of these and put your names on your bags and decorate your bags anyway that you want to.
Even with all of the fun, the Buckaroos and Ecosystem explorers still felt like they were challenged.
REACE LANNEN, ECOSYSTEM EXPLORERS PARTICIPANT:
We sticked something in the tree to count how old it is. And we couldn’t really see. So it was kind of hard to count it.
JOLENE, ECOSYSTEM EXPLORERS PARTICIPANT:
We had to name an ecosystem after there was this carpet that was laid out and it had things under it. It was covered up and then they uncovered it and they let us look at it for 30 seconds. It was really hard deciding on it.
KATELYN, BUCKAROOS PARTICIPANT:
The planting was the most hardest.
After working hard all morning, by noon Tuesday, many participants are glued to their watches–waiting to break for lunch. No it’s not because they want to spend their break studying–and no it’s not because they are exhausted from all of the heat and instruction–though that may be the case on any other day. On Tuesdays, everyone is anxious for the Annual Lamb Barbeque Lunch.
SARAH SNOW, SECRETARY - MONTANA FFA:
I am excited about tomorrow. I’m really excited. I’m excited for the Lamb roast. That’s something the Park City Chapter looks forward to every year.
DAVID MCEWEN, MEMBER OF MONTANA WOOL GROWERS BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
It takes us 2 or 3 days and about 4 months in advance to make sure we secure the appropriate cuts of lamb and a couple days at home to get ready to come down, depending on how far we have to travel. We gather the crew and Get-Er-Done.
While Tuesday lunch requires a lot of preparation, planning for the entire event takes much more time and effort.
Planning Range Days is a big job. And the local committee spends about 3 years total preparing for the two years that they actually produce the event.
The Range Days Board is divided into committees that plan the logistics of the event. In addition to various planning committees, sponsors also contribute to the success of Range Days.
Montana Range Days is about a $60,000 event. Our statewide sponsors are very important. Each year, the local committee also gathers up about $10,000 a year from local sponsors in the way of prizes donated, cash, food items, facilities, supplies for our events.
Government agencies also play a major role in the success of Range Days. In fact, NRCS workers account for most of the instructors.
One thing that MT Range Days does for the agencies is train people. For them, it gives people in Montana the basic training and maybe the interest inspire them to go on to have a career in Range Management with a Federal Agency or a State Agency.
During these 34 years, Montana Range Days hasï¿½ without a doubtï¿½distinguished itself as a leader among Rangeland Management. Now offering college credit for its participants and even giving away 3 scholarships, Range Days is clearly one of Montana’s best kept secrets.