Minot High team wins Envirothon

Submitted Photo The Minot High School team called Leafy Spurge won the regional Envirothon competition Wednesday. The team, not in order, consisted of seniors Brody Armstrong, Rhett Pederson, Pat Richardson and Hunter Swartout and junior Noah Christman.

A team from Minot High School won the trail and oral components of the 17th annual Mouse River Loop Envirothon competition on Wednesday.

The team members include seniors Brody Armstrong, Rhett Pederson, Pat Richardson and Hunter Swartout and junior Noah Christman. Each won $100 in prize money. They will compete at the state competition next May.

“This team of young men could compete with any academic or athletic school in the nation,” said their coach, Joe Super, in a press release. “Although this is an academic competition, I have watched this group wrestle and play football for the past four years. They are the real deal and thrive on any source of competition”

Lake Darling hosted the 17th Annual Mouse River Loop Envirothon competition. Envirothon is sponsored by Renville and Ward County Soil Conservation District, Natural Resources Conservation Service, NDSU Extension Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A total of 70 students from 10 surrounding schools participated in the entire day in the field and in shop at Lake Darling..

National Conservation Foundation-Envirothon is an environmental education program, according to team coach Joe Super. At the national level teams compete for $30,000 in cash prizes sponsored by Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer and processor. This past August high schools from 45 states, seven Canadian provinces and two Chinese provinces participated in the NCF-Envirothon in Maryland.

Teams of five students walked a 1.2 mile-loop starting from the interpretive scenic drive. Stations along the route provided questions on soils, aquatics, prairie and wildlife.

“Getting out in native environment was fun, seeing what rangeland really is makes topic easier to understand,” said Abbygail Weikamp, a Minot High School sophomore and first-time participant,

Team scores are weighted 50 percent trail test and 50 percent oral competition.

Jody Forman, NRCS rangeland specialist from Bowbells, spoke to all students about Western Rangeland Management, wrote Super. He wrote that North Dakota is one of 12 states that make up the Western Range. On average 40 percent of land area within these states is considered range. Students learn how many factors and partnerships must be cultured to manage sustainable rangeland. Historically land for range would be dominated by native grasses, shrubs and trees. Today this would only exclude farmland and residential areas. Land is our greatest resource and educating students how to appreciate and manage our land is the overriding goal of Envirothon, according to Super.