STUDENT ACTIVITIESMontana State University 2004-2005
The Range Club at Montana State University has been very busy this year with activities from fundraising to educational assistance. The club has reached its largest size in over 10 years with more than 50 active members. This year students traveled to Glendive, MT for the Old West Regional Range Judging Competition and Ekalaka, MT for a FFA district range competition to set up range workshops and contests for high school students.
"Cows not Condos" was the theme of the float the club built for the homecoming parade in Bozeman. They did this with the assistance of Montana Land Reliance and Cashman's Nursery. The club also participated in the Montana State New Student Barbeque, which helped recruit several new members.
For something fresh this year, students will be assisting a local landowner, with a multiple-use operation, in stream cleaning and moss removal. Another new activity this year is a coffee fundraiser. Every day members of the Range Club sell coffee and cookies in the agricultural building on campus and it is proving to be a worth-while event.
Agricultural Appreciation Days is fast approaching and the Range Club will be setting up and running a three-part contest; Range, Soils, and Agronomy for FFA participants. Also for this event the club has been selling raffle tickets and collecting silent auction items from various businesses in the community, raising money for the student activities fund.
Each year the Club has a community service project where students help take down and/or put up miles of fence, depending on the season, on the Wall Creek Game Range, an elk wintering range. The Range Club's biggest event/fundraiser is an annual cutting and selling of range Christmas trees.
Students work with landowners who need stand thinning by harvesting Christmas trees and then thinning the rest of the stand. The cutting is a one-day event in December, but the distribution lasts for several days after that. About 95 percent of the trees are pre-sold on and around campus. Last year the club branched out further into the community by advertising the trees in the local paper.
All proceeds from these fundraisers go to helping active members attend the annual Society for Range Management meetings. This year over 40 students want to attend the meeting in Fort Worth, TX and compete in the various student contests offered. Students have already begun to study for the Undergraduate Range Management Exam (URME) and the Plant Identification test.