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YT Ranch Hosts Youth Field Day

story by Jaime Tankersley

NRCS staff explains wildlife management to a group of Ector County freshman.Over 140 students and teachers attended the Sandhills Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual 9th grade field day hosted at the YT Ranch in north Ector County. Bill Wight, ranch owner, welcomed all attendees before students were divided into groups and rotated through eight educational stations.

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Odessa Water Department, and AgriLife Extension covered various topics which included: livestock management, agronomy, soil health, range management, wildlife habitat management, and water quality.

Cliff Kiinibrugh explains erosion and water contamination using a rainfall simulator.Tom Kerr, Odessa Water Department technician, gave an informative lecture on the process water must go through before it comes out of the faucet in your home. Students were given soil samples by NRCS Soil Scientist, Amanda Bragg, and were educated on why certain vegetation grows only in the Permain Basin region. Cliff Kinnibrugh, NRCS agronomist, explained water and wind erosion using a rainfall simulator, and also highlighted how contaminants can end up in your water supply during a rainfall event.

“Ector County is a region that receives very limited rainfall and having the chance to work with young and eager students explaining the importance of conservation starts at workshops and field days just like this one, and is a great start to conserving our resources for the future,” Kinnibrugh said.

For more information about natural resource conservation and local events you can contact the Odessa NRCS field office at 432.332.9541 or visit them at 2464 West I-20, Odessa, TX.Dan Womochel, retired geologist professor, explains the Earth’s filtration system for water.Mike Lemons explains traditional ranching tools to a group of freshman students.