By: Carla Lawrence
The first ever Rangeland Day at the Capitol Rotunda was held on Friday, February 17, 2017. The event which was hosted by the Rangeland Resources Executive Committee (RREC) and joined by Agricultural partners in rangeland from across the state was a celebration of Montana’s largest natural resource through education and awareness. It was also an opportunity to showcase rangeland’s economic, social and environmental importance to our State.
The event kicked off at 10 a.m. with displays from rangeland partners set up around the Rotunda which included representation from: Rangeland Resources Executive Committee (RREC), USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); Montana Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI); Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF); the Montana Beef Council; Montana Association of Conservation Districts (MACD); Montana Rangeland Partnership; The Montana Grass Commission; and the Society for Range Management (SRM).
Starting at 11:15 a.m., Chili O-Brien’s catered in a delicious luncheon of beef and pork BBQ. Before, during and after the luncheon Legislators, staffers, and State leaders were able to walk around the Rotunda and visit the Agriculture partners who work to promote rangelands and natural resources in Big Sky Country.
Sponsorship for the event included: USDA-NRCS, Montana Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, Montana Farm Bureau Federation, Montana Livestock Ag Credit, the Montana Beef Council, SRM-Northern Great Plains and International Mountain Sections, Rocky Mountain Stockgrowers; Deer Lodge Valley Conservation District; Timber Creek Ranch; Lewis & Clark Conservation District; Rangelands Resources Executive Committee.
The RREC serves the Governor of the State of Montana by providing guidance and information regarding rangeland issues and emphasizes cooperation and coordination between interested parties. Current RREC members include: John Hollenback-Gold Creek, Vice-Chairman; Steve Hedstrom, Raynesford; Diane Ahlgren-Winnett; Noel Keogh-Nye; and Connie Iversen-Culbertson.
The RREC would like to thank all the organizations who sponsored and participated in this event and make the first Rangeland Day at the Capitol Rotunda a HUGE success.