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70th SRM Annual Meeting & Trade Show

Red Rock and Rangelands

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Registration is now live! Click HERE to register today

St. George, UT
January 29 - February 2, 2017

Student Recruitment
Rangeland Careers
Young Professionals Conclave (YPC)
The newly formed group in the SRM is geared towards integrating young or less experienced members into the society by hosting events young professionals are especially interested in, and by providing opportunities to network with other young professionals as well as with senior or more experienced members.

Quick Links:
Our Mission         Our Officers         Our History         Our Strategic Plan (pdf - 14kb)         Handbook



News & Events:

Travel Scholarships from the Young Professionals Conclave

The deadline is fast approaching so get your application in for the $500 travel scholarship to help Young Professionals attend the 70th Annual Meeting and Trade Show in St George, UT!
Click here for the application.
Information on qualifications and requirements is included on the application.
Application deadline is November 4, 2016!

YPC Soliciting Brands For Wildrags

Are you part of the Utah Section or a nearby state and want your brand incorporated into the design of the 2017 SRM Wildrags? Wildrags are designed and sold by the SRM Young Professional Conclave. The proceeds from wildrag sales fund two travel scholarships for young professional to attend the annual meeting. The deadline for brand submissions is September 22nd.

For more information, please contact Rory O’Connor ( or Alex Beaton (
Click Here for the YPC Brand Permission Statement

Our Mission:

To strengthen the relationships between students, apprentice members, young professionals and experienced professionals within SRM to promote strength in leadership, education, research, and stewardship of rangelands. This mission implies three major roles:

  1. YPC is a group for individuals that are in the senior year of an undergraduate program, graduate program and/or in their first 5 years in the job field that will assist in retaining membership of the student and apprentice members in SRM.
  2. YPC will provide opportunities to help build relationships between students, graduate students, young professionals and long-time members.
  3. YPC is the initial liaison for undergraduate students, graduate students and young professionals seeking an active role and participation in SRM.

Our Officers:
2015 Officers:
President: Miranda Meehan,
Vice President: Rory O'Connor,
Secretary: Nathan Cline,
Treasurer: Alex Beaton,
Public Relations: Margaret Gannon,
Recorder: Daniel Graham,
Advisory Council Co-Chair: Jill Ficke-Beaton,
Advisory Council Co-Chair:

Mitch Stephensen,

Officer Bios:

Miranda Meehan, President
I grew up on a small livestock operation near Tuttle, ND, where I was very active in 4-H and the livestock industry, raising and showing Simmental. SRM has played a critical role in my career development; I can honestly say that without SRM I would not be in the field of range management. My involvement in SRM activities such as youth range camp and the high school youth forum were instrumental in my decision to pursue a career in range management with the goal of understanding the ecology of rangeland ecosystems and assisting land owners in managing their resources in a profitable and sustainable manner. I received my bachelors and masters degrees in Animal and Range Science from NDSU in 2005 and 2008, respectively. In 2012 received my Ph.D. in Natural Resource Management from NDSU; my research focused on the development of a Riparian Complex Ecological Site Description. The professional development and networking opportunities I have received as a SRM member helped me land my dream job; I recently accepted a position as the Extension Livestock Environmental Stewardship Specialist at NDSU. I have previously served as the YPC Treasurer and am looking forward to guiding the future of YPC by providing leadership to young professionals and promoting SRM as YPC President. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are interested in YPC or with any questions or suggestions at or (701) 527-3554.

Rory O’Connor, Vice President
Growing up in Oregon and spending summers at my grandparent’s ranch in eastern Oregon has led me to want to help improve our rangelands. To know a little about me I studied Rangeland Ecology and Management at Brigham Young University-Idaho, and it’s also where I met my wife (who is an ecologist). After graduating I got my first job as a wildlife technician winter habitat surveys for SM Stoller, a private consulting firm, in Idaho. After enjoying winter for several months in eastern Idaho the temporary job was done and I was hired by the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Burns, OR as a rangeland technician. These were some wonderful years of learning and being mentored by great rangeland and soil scientists. After several years I decided to return to school. I finished my Master’s degree at Brigham Young University on influences of small mammals on invasive plant establishment in western deserts. Currently, I am in a doctorate program at Kansas State University studying mechanisms driving woody plant establishment in mesic grasslands. Over the last 6 years my two jobs, graduate programs and current collaboration have all come about through networking. The majority of the people I have worked with are members of SRM and I have met them at sectional or national meetings. Within SRM and more specifically the YPC I have been given awesome experiences to meet top scientists, land managers (both public and private), and policy makers to get an understanding for what truly is important in building my career as a young professional. If you have questions about the YPC, or how to network let’s talk. Email me at

Nathan Cline, Secretary
I was born and raised in Ohio surrounded by corn fields and agriculture. After a two-year church mission, I eventually received a bachelor's degree in biology with a botany emphasis from Northern Arizona University. There, I studied plant water potential in redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) trees. I went on to Brigham Young University (BYU) where I received both my master’s and doctoral degrees in range science. At BYU, I studied treatment effects on wooded sagebrush lands in the Great Basin. I have also investigated revegetation of drastically disturbed lands as a result of oil shale mining. I am currently working on a postdoctoral fellowship at BYU investigating wooded sagebrush land response to tree removal. My colleagues and I are using site characteristic, such as climate, soil climate, and soil physical conditions to estimate weed and perennial herbaceous. I married an Arizona girl, and we have three wonderful children. My hobbies are hiking, landscape photography, mountain biking, and all things productivity.

Alex Beaton, Treasurer
I grew up ranching and farming on the island of Hawaii. I was involved in 4H livestock raising beef steers, lambs, hogs and dairy heifers. During high school I was able to attend the SRM Cal-Pac Range Management Camp and this sparked my interest in range management. I attended Kansas State University from 2008-2010 then transferred and finished my B.S. of Agriculture at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. I worked for Dr. Mark Thorne, the University of Hawaii’s Range Specialist, as a research assistant for a year and a half gathering and processing forage samples, working on projects involving Madagascar Ragwort including raising and releasing Secusio extensa as a bio control. I am currently working as a private contractor for the Farm Service Agency as a loss adjuster for the NAP program. I attended my first SRM meeting in 2014 in Orlando and was introduced to YPC by my mother, Jill Beaton. Upon my graduation, I became a member and will serve as treasurer for 2015. Email me at

Daniel Graham, Reporter
I am a Research Specialist: Wildlife and Range Technician for the North Dakota State University Hettinger Research Extension Center. I obtained a B.Sc. in Wildlife Ecology and Management from Michigan Tech University and a M.Sc. from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. My research interests focus around population biology and conservation ecology in an effort to help bridge the gap between land uses and conservation efforts. Although my interest are usually centered around avian populations, I have also worked with various insects, prairie dogs, aquatic invertebrates, and gray wolves.

Margaret Gannon, Public Relations
I grew up in L.A. County in a family that had no agricultural experience to speak of. My passion for horses as a child led to my current passion for cattle and other livestock. I am currently attending California Polytechnic State University, where I’ve gained the majority of my rangeland and livestock experience. Through opportunities provided by Cal Poly, I was able to secure an internship at the High Plains Grasslands Research Station in Cheyenne, Wyoming where my love for rangeland research was reaffirmed. I attended my first SRM meeting this year in Sacramento and was eager to get involved. The Young Professionals Conclave (YPC) provided the perfect opportunity for me to use my social media skills to network and promote awareness for the committee. If you have any questions about the committee or ideas for the group’s social media pages please feel free to contact me via email at

Jill Ficke-Beaton, Advisory Council
I graduated from the University of Hawaii with a BS in Agriculture. I obtained my Masters in Natural Resource Stewardship with a concentration in Rangeland Ecosystems. I have been an agricultural producer and have raised red Angus and Hampshire and Suffolk sheep and orchids for 25 years on the Big Island of Hawaii. I am currently working as a soil conservationist at the Hilo Field office of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. I am a member of the local chapter of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Vice President of the Hawaii Sheep and Goat Association, and a past steering committee member of the Hawaii Grazing Land Coalition. I am married and have two great sons; one a recent graduate with his BS in Agriculture and the other a freshman at the University of Alaska Fairbanks majoring in engineering. I was a 2013 recipient of the YPC travel scholarship for the Oklahoma SRM meeting, the 2015 YPC President and would like to encourage all young professionals to become active in YPC. Feel free to contact me for more information,

Mitch Stephensen, Advisory Council
Mitch Stephenson received a M.S. degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Range Science in 2010 where he evaluated the effect of rotational grazing methods and time of grazing on livestock performance and vegetation characteristics in the eastern Nebraska Sandhills. Following his time at UNL, Mitch worked as a rangeland ecologist in Wyoming and Nevada where he assisted livestock producers in developing sustainable grazing management plans and range vegetation monitoring reports. He completed his Ph.D. in Range Science in December 2014 from New Mexico State University where his research focused on targeting cattle grazing with low-stress herding and low-moisture block protein supplement. While at New Mexico State University, Mitch also evaluated factors that affect cattle grazing distribution behavior, grazing site selection, and social association patterns within cattle herds. Following his Ph.D., Mitch worked with the University of Nevada, Reno as a Post-doctoral Researcher evaluating the use of livestock grazing as a tool to reduce annual invasive grass biomass on a landscape scale. Mitch recently began a Range and Forage Management Extension Specialist position with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln based out of the Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff, NE.


Our History:

67th Annual Meeting - February 2014 - Orlando, FL

2014 Officers :

President: Jill Ficke-Beaton,
Vice President: Rory O'Connor,
Treasurer: Miranda Meehan,
Recorder: Monty Lane

Advisory Council Co-Chair:Advisory Council Co-Chair:

Jamin Johanson,
Kasey DeAtley,
66th Annual Meeting - February 2013 - Oklahoma City, OK
2013 Officers
President-Jamin Johanson
Vice-President-Nick Padilla
Treasurer-Poncho Ortega, Jr.
Recorder-Monty Lane
Advisory Council Co-chairs-Angie Reid and Jill Ficke-Beaton


65th Annual Meeting - February 2012 - Spokane, WA
2012 Officers
President: Angie Reid
Vice President: Jamin Johanson
Treasurer: Poncho Ortega, Jr.
Recorder: Molly Ryan (Feb-June 2012) and Colin Walden (July 2012-Jan 2013)
Advisory Council Co-Chairs: Rio Franzman and Bob Wesley
64th Annual Meeting - February 2011 - Billings, MT
2011 Officers
President: Seth Kennedy
President Elect: Angie Reid
Treasurer: Cole Lambert
Recorder: Molly Ryan
Advisory Council Chair: Jamin Johanson
63rd Annual Meeting - February 2010 - Denver, CO
2010 Officers
President: Liza McDonald
President-elect: Seth Kennedy
Treasurer: Kim Haile
Recorder: Angie Reid
Advisory Council Chair: Jill Burkhardt

62nd Annual Meeting - February 2009 - Albuquerque, NM
2009 Officers
President: Jill Burkhardt
President-elect: Liza Slusser
Treasurer: Kim Haile
Recorder: Angie Reid
Advisory Council Chair: Bob Wesley

61st Annual Meeting - February 2008 - Louisville, KY
2008 Officers
President: Bob Wesley
President-Elect: Jill Burkhardt
Treasurer: Jake Powell
Recorder: Summer Schulz
Advisory Council Co-Chairs: Liza Slusser and Julie Finzel

60th Annual Meeting - February 2007 - Reno, NV
YPC is teaming up with SRMs Leadership Development Committee (LDC) to put-on a Mentoring Program workshop. The workshop will include facilitated break-out sessions where all aspects of a possible mentoring program within SRM will be explored. In addition to the afternoon mentoring workshop, there will be a morning symposium organized by YPC member, Ben Baldwin, entitled, "What skills are needed by our young professionals to surthrive in resources management? Probably not the ones you would have thought." The week will also include the YPC business meeting, luncheon, and evening social. Please see the mentoring workshop agenda and YPC meeting announcement for more information.
2007 Officers
President: Jason Hohlt
President-Elect: Bob Wesley
Treasurer: Jake Powell
Recorder: Summer Schulz
Advisory Council Chair: Stephanie Sever

59th Annual Meeting - February 2006 - Vancouver, BC
The first YPC officers were elected to operate the conclave; the offices of President, President-Elect, Recorder, and Treasurer were filled. There was standing room only during the conclave meeting, including approximately 50 young professionals, as different presenters covered a variety of topics, including "Balancing Paperwork with Fieldwork" and "Having a Career and a Family."
2006 Officers
President: Stephanie Sever
President-Elect: Jason Hohlt
Treasurer: Brian Thrift
Recorder: Summer Schulz

58th Annual Meeting - February 2005 - Fort Worth, TX
Approximately 12 people were invited to speak with Dennis Phillippi, SRM Board member, about the young professional movement in SRM. However, a diverse group of nearly 40 young range professionals took interest and attended the meeting. Mr. Phillippi facilitated the session as young professionals brainstormed their concerns and ambitions within the Society.
2005 Organizers
Matt Phillippi
Merrita Fraker-Marble
Stephanie Sever
Heidi Olbert
Brian and Tanya Thrift

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