Thursday, May 27, 2010

Florida Section Meeting and Orlando Annual Meeting 2014

Last week I attended the Florida Section meeting, met with the Section BOD, and went on a site visit of the Orlando 2014 Annual Meeting hotel.  Beautiful scenery, fun and interesting people, and an awesome site selection for 2014.  Read on for the highlights:

Florida Section Meeting:

The Florida Section of SRM joined forces with the Florida Section of the Wildlife Society to put on an excellent Prescribed Grazing and Wildlife Workshop.  The workshop was hosted at the scenic Disney Wildlife Preserve in Kissimmee, Florida.  Chad George, Florida Section President, started us off with: Grazing 101, followed by Erin Myers: Wildlife Habitats in Central Florida.  Pete Heard shared his extensive knowledge and experience in his presentation: Grazing and Wildlife, explaining how different wildlife species react to management activities and how to manage for wildlife.  After lunch, we went into the field to develop grazing plans on-site and learn more about their design and implementation.

The workshop was informative, applicable, and an outstanding hands-on introduction to grazing plans.  In particular, the entire group of instructors provided excellent demonstrations and examples throughout the workshop.  Pete Deal brought grass samples to show how grazing at varying intensities affects above and below-ground biomass and root structure.  Chad George provided a plethora of easy-to-follow examples to better understand grazing.  My personal favorite began: "...imagine you're at a buffet...", in order to describe how and why animals select forage.

The Florida section meeting was a great opportunity to hear about rangeland management and grazing plans in Florida ecosystems.  I enjoyed the meeting (despite the sweltering heat!) and appreciate the hospitality of the Section.  In addition to the meeting, it was great to hear that the Florida section is looking forward to collaborating with the Southern section of SRM to host the 2014 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

Site Visit for the 2014 Annual Meeting - Orlando:

The 2014 Annual Meeting will be held in Orlando, Florida.  SRM was able to nail down a stellar contract with the host hotel, the Caribe Royal.  The site, meeting space, and accommodations are all spectacular.  The entire meeting will be at one location, and the hotel will offer federal per diem rates for the all room reservations - during February, peak season for Orlando.  Here are some added perks:
  • All rooms are suites
  • Good restaurants on-site
  • Federal per diem for all room reservations
  • Great deals for students sharing rooms
  • Refrigerators in every room
  • Beautiful swimming pool and surrounding area
  • Free shuttles to Disney (2 miles away) if you want to bring the family 
  • Large meeting facilities
  • AND we negotiated free Internet in rooms
  •'s a meeting in Florida
Stay tuned - I will be heading to the Nebraska Youth Range Camp June 7th.

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