The University of Arizona

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

SNRE Students Received Scholarship at Annual Meeting of the Arizona Section Society for Range Management

Friday, January 19, 2018

At the Annual Meeting of the Arizona Section of the Society for Range Management (AZ SRM) in Globe on 05 January 2018, Clara Miller, Amber Ford and Justin Johnson received were recipients of four important scholarships. 

Clara Miller received two scholarships. The first is the AZ SRM Section’s Outstanding Undergraduate, and the second is the Habgood Scholarship in Rangeland Management. The Outstanding Undergraduate Student Scholarships recognizes the outstanding student in a degree program emphasizing rangeland management, and includes a check for $350. The Habgood Family established the scholarship in 2016 to provide financial support for the $2000 award to an undergraduate student currently enrolled in the rangeland management program at the University of Arizona. They were particularly interested in supporting a student who is dedicated to the management of rangelands, and has the character and perseverance to continue their career in rangeland management.

Ms. Miller was born and raised in the family guest ranch, Elkhorn Ranch, which is southwest of Tucson. Her great-grandparents started the first Elkhorn in Montana in 1922 and they bought the ranch to Arizona in 1945 and opened it to guests in 1946. Ms. Miller is the fourth generation of her family to be part of the operation. Her parents currently own and operate the ranch, and Ms. Miller plans to continue in the family business and keep the ranch going so that future generations can continue to enjoy the beauty of the southwest. The main attraction at the ranch is horseback riding so they have a very large horse herd that we turn out to pasture. This is why she chose to major in range management. She feels that “it is a very important discipline that is not given enough credit. I want to learn all the skills necessary to manage our land properly so that we can continue to use our land in a sustainable manner.”  Ms. Miller. Sutter has been the 2017-18 President of the Tierra Seca Student Club, and will enter her second Undergraduate Range Management Exam competition this year at the annual meeting of the Society for Range Management in Sparks, NV.

Amber Ford, a student at the University of Arizona, received the S. Clark Martin Memorial Scholarship for the highest score among the Arizona Section students competing in the contest at the annual meeting of the Society for Range Management in St. George, Utah at the end of January 2017. As a first time contestant, she scored third out of 198 contestants from the US, Canada, and Mexico. The UA team as a whole placed ninth in the contest. She graduated in May 2017 with a BS in Natural Resources with an emphasis in wildlife management and conservation. This year she is continuing her education with the U of A, with an accelerated masters program in agricultural education, expecting to graduate in May 2018. She is also helping Larry Howery coach the University of Arizona Undergraduate Range Management Exam team for the 2018 context in Sparks, NV.

Justin Johnson received the Marcelle E. Schmutz Memorial Scholarship given in memory of Erv Schmutz’s father.  Erv was a longtime faculty member in Range Management at University of Arizona. Mr. Johnson is a senior at the University of Arizona majoring in Natural Resources and the Environment with an emphasis in Ecology, Management, and Restoration of Rangelands. He is active with Tierra Seca Club and a participant on the Plant Identification and URME teams. He was raised on his family's organic farm in South Dakota. After high school, he spent several years working on conservation projects across the country as an AmeriCorps volunteer and a staff member for the Student Conservation Association and the Southwest Conservation Corps. Before attending the University of Arizona, he worked as a restoration horticulturist for the Gila Watershed Partnership in Safford, AZ. His interests are primarily in restoration ecology and agroecology. After graduating this spring, Mr. Johnson will be pursuing graduate school and venturing back to the family farm.