BLM Idaho Horse Whisperer Goes Back to School
Last winter, BLM Idaho Challis Field Office Wild Horse Specialist Kevin Lloyd got to go back to school. He was invited back to speak at his alma mater, Snow College, a residential junior college nestled in the beautiful mountain valleys of central Utah.
The school resides in the small town of Ephraim, Utah, which is also where Lloyd began his natural resource career. It was there that he started working at the seed warehouse and the Great Basin Experimental Research Station. Snow College’s Natural Resources Program is a field-based program that immerses students in the different types of natural resources, including: plants, animals, soil, water, air, minerals, and fossil fuels.
For the Natural Resource Careers course, the instructor invited various guest speakers from the field, but no one from the BLM had yet spoken to the class. So how did the instructor think to call on someone living 440 miles away in central Idaho? Well, Snow College attendance runs in the family, and Lloyd’s oldest daughter was in that very Careers class. She is a Range and Equine Science major and is on the Snow College Rodeo Team. Lloyd met her professor when he was moving horses down there earlier in the school year.
This was not the first time Lloyd has shared his love of horses or public lands. He has spoken at elementary and high schools many times across east Idaho as well as 4-H groups, veterinarian groups and other gatherings—but never before to a college class. This Natural Resource Careers meeting had about 20 in attendance and another 20 attending virtually. They were all very interested and asked numerous questions about employment with BLM and the wild horse program.
Lloyd graduated from Snow College with an associate degree in Science before transferring to Brigham Young University where he graduated with a degree in Rangeland Ecology. He has been in the BLM Challis Office since 2007, but he also worked in Wyoming and Utah. Currently, he is a Natural Resource Specialist with duties of Monitoring Coordinator, Wild Horses, and Sensitive Plant Coordinator. Lloyd started with the Wild Horse program when he first came to work at BLM and has loved it despite its challenges. He gets to follow a horse from being out on the range, to being gathered and finally adopted, which is quite a process. His favorite parts are seeing and working with the horses, maintaining partnerships, and seeing the horses find good homes through adoptions.
Over the years, Lloyd has found that BLM employees working in the wild horse program seem to share a special bond and he’s grateful for all the good people who have come to work alongside him. Despite working in the isolated office of Challis, he freely shares his passion by helping others accomplish goals with wild horses and other resource objectives. This latest talk with the college students fell right in his wheelhouse. Students are lucky to have someone with such experience and the ability to shoot straight with them about the challenges he faces, as well as how the program can be a rewarding and sometimes exciting career.
Following the dismissal of class, the students still wanted more, and questions were asked about summer and full-time employment with the BLM. And since they were college students, the Wild Horse and Burro promotional items were a big hit as well!
Story by Bruce Hallman, Idaho Falls Public Affairs Officer. Photos by BLM.
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