Mary Reece, SRM HSYF Sub-committee Co-Chair
The High School Youth Forum (HSYF) program began in 1966 at the Salt Lake City Annual Meeting as the Youth Range Forum. High school age delegates are selected for participation in the Forum by the Sections of the Society based on their interest, achievements and activities in range and natural resource management at the Section level. Beginning in the early 1970’s, the program format began to encourage youth thought and enhancement of communication skills. A taste of what range professionals do was achieved by asking each Forum delegate to prepare a 6 to 8 minute formal presentation on a range related topic.
The HSYF paper presentation session today is treated similar to other formal, educational annual meeting sessions, except that it is a competition. In the late 1980’s, the top 2 to 3 winning papers began to be published in Rangelands. For our Section sponsored youth, this effort has brought about a true educational process. These youth select a topic by visiting and working with Society members, research an idea, prepare a written paper, and then present the main ideas of the paper in a formal speaking presentation. The Forum delegates most often continue to use their presentation in other youth competitions, as speakers at various summer camps and local organization meetings, and serve as ambassadors in their states or sections for range stewardship.
Sam McMillan of the Nebraska Section and he placed 1st with his presentation “Blowout Friend or Foe”
Rebecca Reece of the Nebraska Section and she placed 2nd
Emma Amato of the Colorado Section and she placed 3rd
McKinlee Covolo of the Wyoming Section and she placed 4th
Ana Lockard of the Colorado Section and she placed 5th