Crop association presents UW experiment station director excellence in service honor

Man wearing cowboy hat holding microphone
Bret Hess, associate dean for research in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and director of the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station

The Wyoming Crop Improvement Association (WCIA) presented its Excellence in Service Award to the director of the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station (WAES)  for his work with the state’s agriculture and seed industry.

Bret Hess, associate dean of research in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming, was recognized at the organization’s meeting earlier this month. Hess has served as the supervisor for the Wyoming Seed Certification Service, which is foundational to the Wyoming seed industry. The seed service is managed by the WAES.

Park County farmer Mike Forman has been president of the WCIA for several years.

“We started off with Bret being the associate dean for research and director of the experiment station coming out of the (UW) animal science department,” said Forman, who farms on Heart Mountain west of Powell. “That made us farmers a little suspect of him, but he’s proven to be such a friend of the crop improvement association and seed service. He’s been a tremendous ally in everything we tried to accomplish.”

He also cited better communication with UW in Laramie.

“We’re 400 miles away, and it’s not easy to communicate with everyone in Laramie, but Bret has made it simple.”

The WCIA noted Hess’ emphasis to work with the Wyoming seed industry and represent that industry to UW administration and state legislators through testimony and increased communication.

Other nominators highlighted Hess’ using input from agricultural producers to guide College of Agriculture and Natural Resources research and UW Extension efforts.  In addition to research support, the WAES directs research and extension centers near Laramie, Lingle, Powell and Sheridan.

Wyoming Bee College in Cheyenne March 22-24

Photograph of a beeThe coordinator of the March bee conference in Cheyenne has a few buzzwords about the multi-day event.

“Get your bee on at the Wyoming Bee College conference, open to the world, three days of all things bees and beekeeping,” noted Catherine Wissner, University of Wyoming Extension horticulture educator in Laramie County.

More than 28 workshops and three keynote speakers are featured at Laramie County Community College Friday-Sunday, March 22-24, with three pre-conference workshops Friday.

Registration is $125 for the pre-conference workshops, $85 for the bee college or $195 for both. Children ages 7-15 are free with a paying adult. Cost includes lunches, snacks and beverages and Saturday dinner. For more information, including a complete agenda and workshop descriptions or to register, visit

The pre-conference workshops Friday allows a choice of three all-day sessions: “MN bee squad,” “Raising queen bees,” and “Apitherapy.”

Hilary Kearney of San Diego, Calif., begins the conference Saturday with “How to add 30,000 bees and have close neighbors who may have a hard time wrapping their head around your new hobby. Positive relations.” She is author of “Queen Spotting,” Beekeeping like-A-Girl blog and creator of Girl Next Door Honey, a beekeeping business that provides educational opportunities to new beekeepers.

Continue reading Wyoming Bee College in Cheyenne March 22-24

Brucellosis update session set in Cody

The University of Wyoming Extension is hosting an informational brucellosis meeting for producers 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at the Cody Library, 1500 Heart Mountain St.

The meeting is open to the public and includes subjects related to the current status of the disease in Wyoming, its management, and livestock and wildlife. A light meal is also provided.

Information will be presented by Wyoming State Veterinarian Jim Logan, Bruce Hoar, brucellosis research coordinator for the University of Wyoming, and Eric Maichak, biologist with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

For more information contact UW Extension educator Barton Stam at, or call the Hot Springs County Extension Office, 307-864-3421.

UW livestock judging team has trio of top four finishes

Logan Despain

            UW livestock judging team notched its highest finish in 30 years at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) in January and finished in the top five at two other contests so far this spring season.

“It’s a great start to the season for the 2019 team, and they are one of the best teams in the country,” said Caleb Boardman, livestock judging coach.

The team finished fourth at the NWSS out of 26 universities. They were second in the sheep and goat division, fifth in beef cattle and overall reasons, and eighth in swine.

UW had two members finish in the top 10 out of 123 contestants. Logan Despain, Laramie, placed fifth overall and seventh in beef cattle and Shanan Davey, Olathe, Colo., finishing ninth overall and second in sheep and goats. Zackery Schumaker, Sweet Springs, W.Va., finished third in sheep and goats and Tiffaney Connelly, Bridgeport, Neb., finished ninth in the carload judging contest.

The team finished third out of 13 teams and was only 12 points short of winning at the Sioux Empire Livestock Show in Souix Falls, S.D. The team finished second in beef cattle and swine, fourth in

Shanan Davey

sheep and goats and third in overall reasons.


Zachery Schumaker

“We were disappointed to be so close and not be able to get a win, but third was still a great finish for our team,” Boardman said.

UW had two finish in the top 10 out of 71 contestants. Davey finished second overall, third in sheep and goats, seventh in reasons and 10th in swine. Despain finished seventh overall and second in beef cattle. Connelley finished seventh in sheep and goats and Schumaker tied for 10th in swine.

UW was named highest overall team out of three at the Heart City Bull Bash in Valentine, Neb. This was an all-cattle contest and the first year for the contest. The team was first in placings and reasons.

Schumaker won high individual overall and total placings and placed second in reasons. Despain was second overall and total placings and first in reasons. Davey was fourth overall and fifth in placings and reasons. Alexis Wivell, Smock, Pa., finished fifth overall.

Continue reading UW livestock judging team has trio of top four finishes

UW Rodeo team hosts Bucking Horse Gala fundraiser

A rodeo team member is in saddle atop a horseUniversity of Wyoming alumnus and 2007 World Champion steer wrestler Jason Miller of Lusk is the guest speaker at the Bucking Horse Gala in Laramie Saturday, Feb. 23, a dinner and auction to raise money for the UW rodeo team.

Team members are hosting the gala at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center, 222 South 22nd St.

This will be a night to not only raise money for the rodeo team, but to also recognize the student-athletes and the hard work they put in, said UW rodeo coach Beau Clark. Funds will support student scholarships and operating costs for livestock used for rodeo practice.

A silent auction and cocktail hour begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and a live auction.

Tickets can be purchased by Feb. 15 at Tickets are $55 per individual or $500 to sponsor a table. Tables are for seven individuals, and one student will be at each table.

There are five rodeo contests this spring semester. Practice for the spring season is already underway with the first rodeo in Gillette March 15-17. The season concludes in Laramie April 26-28. Qualifying athletes will compete at the College National Rodeo Finals in Casper this June.

For more information, contact Sophia Garcia 307-766-2315.