RGC Noxious Weed Dept. continues to offer scholarship program

RIO GRANDE COUNTY — Armando Ross, director of the Rio Grande County Noxious Weed Department, met with Rio Grande County commissioners on March 22 to discuss his plans to begin work throughout the county as soon as weather allows.

Ross began by stating that the San Luis Valley Weed District received the agricultural grant they apply for every year and was used to print pamphlets to share education of noxious weeds.

Ross has been working with Monte Vista High School for the past two years offering a scholarship through Rio Grande County and through the program's success has been able to secure grant funding for other educational tools to help spread the word about noxious weeds.

Students in the program spend almost an entire year designing noxious weed models that are used for educational seminars and printing on the high school’s 3D printers. Students code, design and learn about the noxious weed of their choice and once the project is finished, they receive scholarship funding through Rio Grande County to a college of their choice.

“I am very thankful for our scholarship program and community outreach. It goes a long way in our department,” Ross said.

Monte Vista’s STEM program will help five students this year who participated in the noxious weed educational scholarship. Students will be presented with their scholarship awards on April 19 during the regular Rio Grande County Board of County Commissioner meeting. Students will have the models they created and explain the process by which they worked to earn the scholarship.

RGC Commissioner Chairman Gene Glover asked Ross if they could consider raising the scholarship in the future to which Ross responded that he would be in favor of doing so. Glover stated that he would help Ross work with the school to see about raising the scholarship amount from $250 to stimulate more interest in the program

In addition to the scholarship program, Ross stated that he and his crew were ready to begin treating weeds throughout Rio Grande County as soon as the weather breaks.

“With the weather the way it is right now, these plants are surging. It won’t be long before we will be able to start treating,” said Ross.