A 16-year-old high school student and sixth generation Santa Ynez Valley rancher Lily Masopust traveled to Denver for the Society for Range Management's annual High School Youth Forum Feb. 16-20, reported the Santa Ynez Valley News.
The youth forum was founded in 1966 to introduce young people to rangeland conservation. Masopust was awarded the opportunity to participate when she attended Range and Natural Resources Camp at the UC Cooperative Extension Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center in Half Moon Bay last summer.
At the end of camp, the participants were quizzed on their learned knowledge and the top three were invited to represent the California-Pacific section of the Society for Range Management at the Denver event. Masopust also received support from the Santa Barbara County Cattlewomen's organization.
Each of the forum delegates prepared and shared a formal presentation on a range-related topic. Masopust reported on foothill abortion, a disease caused by a bacterium from the Pajoroella tick which affects cattle in California, Mexico, Nevada and Oregon. She chose the topic because the condition is causing economic losses on her family's ranch. A vaccine has been developed, however currently lacks pharmaceutical backing.