Rangelands

My First Half a Year as Second Vice President

I am humbled to be your Second Vice President and I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our membership for trusting me with that responsibility. Almost 18 years ago, when I came to Texas, I dreamed about becoming an actively engaged SRM member. In the past, many Mexican professionals have been actively involved in SRM activities, including the late Don Martin Gonzalez who was President in 1973. I value the friendship and networking opportunities SRM has provided for all of us.

As the explosion of flowers that resulted from a wet winter and spring disappear, and the triple digit temperatures become prevalent in south Texas indicating the beginning of the summer, the memories of the meeting in Minneapolis with under zero temperatures, is becoming blurry. The first Board of Directors meeting was just a taste of how active and dynamic our Society is. I was greatly impressed with all the activities that Executive Vice President Jess Peterson and his team are involved in, and there is no doubt that SRM is more visible than ever. Our Society is a great resource available to agencies, organizations, institutions, and the society, with over 2500 members with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in different disciplines. Examples of that is the active participation of SRM Director Barry Perryman and DC Coordinator Lia Biondo providing information to develop management guidelines for wild horses and burros, and the participation of SRM Director Jeff Goodwin with his testimony to the House Science, Space, & Technology Committee in Washington, D.C. We can find examples of outstanding SRM members all the way from ranching to academia that are contributing to the sustainability of our rangelands; not only in the USA, but also in other parts of the world.

As we approach the Board of Directors Summer meeting in Boise, Idaho, the activity increases with Section meetings, the election of new officers, and the renewal of SRM Committees. This is part of the change that occurs every year. All these activities become easier because we have a diverse and dynamic Society with healthy finances, where everybody is welcome to get involved at the Section or the National levels; many of our members do both. I encourage everybody to actively participate in SRM activities, and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any comments, suggestions or ideas to enhance the mission SRM. I am grateful for the opportunity to be involved and I pray to God to guide my decisions and actions.

Poncho Ortega
Second Vice President of SRM

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