Fee Busby, professor in Wildland Resources in the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources at Utah State University, led 18 Range Club members to wins at the recent Undergraduate Range Management Exam (URME). The students competed against 40 other students from BYU, UVU, SUU and Snow College.
In the Range Plant Identification Contest, Delaney Pharris placed first and Brianna Young placed second. The USU team also came in as the high scoring team with Jeremy Johnson adding his score to that of Delaney and Brianna.
In the URME section, Pharris placed second overall and Will Price placed third. The USU URME team placed first with Dani Sandet adding her score to that of Pharris and Price to make up the team. The two-hour exam covers 105 questions dealing with every possible topic associated with range management.
The Plant Identification exam portion requires students to identify 200 North American rangeland plants as well as be able to recognize characteristics of almost 500 subspecies. While students are only required to identify the plant to the species level they are held to recognizing the characteristics of all subspecies. They also must be able to recognize the plant from seedling state through all growth stages. Pharris had the high individual score for the combined Plant ID and URME contest and USU had the highest combined team score
Because of Pharris and Young’s stellar performances they were presented with the Utah Section Scholarships named after Lawrence Stoddart and Tate Jensen respectively.
“The USU teams represented our college and the university in a tremendous way and we are proud of them,” S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources Dean Chris Luecke said. “Congratulations to the USU Range Club and to Fee Busby for his mentoring efforts with the Range Management and Plant ID teams. These are tremendous accomplishments. Thanks to all the students for their efforts.”