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NRCS Joins Conservation Professionals at the 48th Annual TCTWS

story by Randy Henry

Going back to 1965, the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society (TCTWS) has promoted excellence in wildlife stewardship through science and education. This year, the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) joined other agencies and wildlife conservation professionals at their 48th annual meeting held on Feb. 23-25 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Around 570 students and professionals attended the annual meeting, and many took the NRCS plant identification test that was monitored by Kent Mills, Nutritionist at Hi-Pro Foods in Snyder, Texas, and Ricky Linex, NRCS Wildlife Biologist in Weatherford.

"It was good to see the large number of students that took the student plant ID test and also participated in the NRCS contest exercising their knowledge of plants against conservation and wildlife professionals," said Linex.

Other NRCS personnel at the meeting and working the Texas Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) and Society of Range Management booth included Kevin Derzapf, GLCI Grazing Lands Specialist in Weatherford, and Matt Machacek, NRCS Rangeland Management Specialist in Corsicana.

At the annual meeting this year, field biologists, students, researchers, educators, private landowners, and others represented various locations around Texas and other states, including Arizona and New Mexico. They enjoyed around 90 presentations spread over 10 sessions.

Besides the NRCS plant identification competition, there were student photo and poster contests, a Texas Quiz Bowl, Texas Feral Swine Roundtable, Southwest Section Roundtable, and a silent auction benefitting the TCTWS. The society started in 1937 and is an international, non-profit scientific and educational organization serving wildlife conservation and resource management professionals in many states and countries.

Student at Plant ID GLCI Display

One of the many students attending the 48th Annual Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society meeting on Feb. 23-25 in Fort Worth, Texas, marks her response during the NRCS Plant ID contest, which had 25 species of grasses, forbs and woodies to challenge the knowledge of participants.

In the exhibit hall, conservation professionals and other vendors displayed their services and had information that representatives could speak to students about, such as this exhibit for the Texas Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative.

Poster Contest Registration Area

Students tested their creative and informational skills in the poster and photo contests at the 48th annual meeting, and as this poster reflects the information available was excellent for attendees and visitors to read and gain knowledge from its contents.

The registration area was busy all day with approximately 570 students and professionals getting ready for the two-day annual meeting held on Feb. 23-25 in Fort Worth, Texas.