One Carson City teen got the chance to represent Nevada as a delegate for the High School Youth Forum for the Society for Range Management at the beginning of the month.
Gabriel Covington, 14, attended the youth forum last week in Corpus Cristi, Tex., to give a presentation on his idea on water implementation on ranches. The Carson High freshman was selected to go after attending the Nevada Youth Range Camp this summer, where he and other students learned about subjects such as botany, waterways and in stream engineering. Covington is an active 4-H member and his leader suggested he try the Austin based camp a try.
“The Range Camp is a really great opportunity,” Covington said. “You learn about a lot of things that aren’t implemented in school. It is definitely a different learning experience.”
During the week at camp, the kids are given a situation to create a user plan to best fulfill a request for the best use of land while still keeping the integrity of the land. Covington decided to look into how ranchers in the Great Basin can manage their water to most benefit their product and land.
“It is important to educate people on water because there is such a huge focus on ranching,” Covington said. “There was minimal research on other topics so I decided to focus on ranchland farming in the Great Basin and found out how it impacts vegetation, agriculture and wildlife.”
Covington came in third for his presentation at camp, but the Youth Range camp decided to allocate funds to be able to send Covington to Texas, along with their second place winner.
“(The camp) told me that if they had extra funds they would send me to the conference and I was amazed because it was really generous of them,” Covington said.
The conference was from Jan. 29- Feb. 4, but Covington was a day late due to travel problems. The 22 delegates from around the country set up their presentations at the American Bank Center in Texas to be judged by a panel of four agriculture professionals.
“It was a bit scary at first, but everyone was really nice and it was really wonderful,” Covington said. “The weather was amazing and everyone in Texas were some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.”
The delegates also got the chance to talk to a number of professionals who work in the agriculture field about getting into agriculture for college and the work field.
“The professionals were really interested in bringing up the next generation of people and sharing their experience in a direct way,” Covington said.
Though Covington didn’t place in the top five for awards for his age group, he still thinks the conference was a success.
“I thought I did well,” Covington said. “It was a great thing and it went really well.”