Thursday, March 18, 2010

Planning for the 2011 Annual Meeting in Billings

The Society for Range Management Annual Meeting, Transcending Borders: Landscapes and Legends, will take place in Billings, Montana, February 6-10, 2011.  This meeting will be comprised of a unique mix of ranchers, scientists and land managers, focused on the art and science of range management.

Last week, I flew to Billings to attend the Annual Meeting Planning Committee (AMPC) meeting.  The 2011 Annual Meeting is going to be fantastic.  The Billings AMPC is paying close attention to detail and are working diligently to make this meeting a success.  Here are a few highlights from the planning process:
  • There is an exciting plenary session in the works: two confirmed keynote speakers include Paige Baker and Chuck Lura.  Russell Nemetz of Northern Ag Network will moderate.
  • Special attention is being paid to meeting highlights, including the Trade Show, Rangeland JobFAIR, On-The-Spot-Hiring and other major meeting events.
  • There will be a symposium focusing specifically on the art of range management.
  • Technical sessions will cover a wide range of topics, including sessions on wildlife interactions, grazing management, riparian health, water quality, range management economics and many others.  Calls for symposia workshops will be coming out shortly.
  • The AMPC is making every effort to ensure that on-site costs will be low.  There will be free coffee breaks, the AMPC will have a food court on-site to save time and money, hotel room rates are competitively priced, food costs are low, meeting hotels offer a free airport shuttle, event bars will offer wine and beer starting at under $4, to name a few - plus, the state of Montana has no sales tax.  The Billings Hotel and Convention Center offers free refrigerators in every room, and refrigerators are available to rent at the Holiday Inn.
  • Both hotels offer free wireless Internet in rooms.  And the Billings Hotel and Convention Center indoor pool is equipped with two water slides!
  • The bags this year will be reusable insulated shopping bags and a recycling program for the meeting is in the works to reduce waste.
  • A Montana-style social dinner will be on-site and feature local entertainment.
Stay tuned - there will be more to come.  Feel free to contact me with any questions,, and I will keep you posted!


Tim said...

GREAT Report Aleta! Forgive me for having to ask, but what is a "Montana-style" social dinner? Sounds like fun!

Aleta Rudeen,Outreach and Leadership Development said...

The Montana-style social dinner will be a banquet-type event with Montana flare. The planning committee will bring in local foods, prepared Montana-style and entertainment to match. This event will definitely be a meeting highlight.

Anonymous said...

So, will the social dinner be in place of the banquet, as similarly done at the Denver meeting? Which by the way was amazing!
Thanks for the great blog updates Aleta, this is great to share information.

Aleta Rudeen,Outreach and Leadership Development said...

Yep! The social dinner event will be similar to the Taste of Colorado at the Denver meeting. The Billings AMPC is doing a fantastic job finding fun ways to spice it up, give it a Montana theme, and keep it running smoothly.