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JROTC Instructor Hosts Field Trip on His Ranch

Miranda Lopez
Group photo of students on Sgt Major Smith's ranch

JROTC Instructor Sergeant Major Smith recently opened up his ranch to students in AP Environmental Science at Fountain-Fort Carson High School. He says when he started the ranch one of his key goals was to work with schools on environmental education.

On his ranch, he has multiple conservation projects that he's worked on with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service. Part of that agreement is education outreach. 

"So, I naturally thought of how I could help our own kids in high school," said Sgt. Major Smith.

Sgt. Major Smith and his son gave students a tour of the ranch. The goal was to show the students how math works every day in ranch operations, the many aspects of conservation management from animal management to land management, and finally how one can seek a career in Agriculture. 

Conservationists were brought in to help guide the tours and work with the kids on answering and explaining the many facets of the ranching operation. Those members were Tate Smith, a Natural Resource Conservationist, and Josh Tashiro with USDA Natural Resource Conservation Services.

On the ranch, students learned how to calculate forage available for livestock, how to tell the health of the rangeland from observing cow dung to insect populations present, and saw several different erosion control and watershed management practices.

"The entire education outreach has been exciting and we learn just as much from the kids asking us questions as they learn from us," said Sgt. Major Smith.

His next plan is to begin an Educator Outreach to inspire various projects that can help take place in the classroom.

Students look a ta big tire filled with water