University of Wyoming Extension News

UW seeks better brucellosis control though vaccine development, vaccination practices

Ph.D. student Alexis Dadelahi and undergraduate student Matthew Rorke conducting brucellosis research at the University of Wyoming.

Ph.D. student Alexis Dadelahi and undergraduate student Matthew Rorke conducting brucellosis research at the University of Wyoming.

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources scientists at the University of Wyoming are hopeful their brucellosis studies may produce a better vaccine for livestock and are studying whether a change in vaccination procedures could offer better control.

Brucellosis can cause elk, bison and cattle to abort fetuses. The highest risk of brucellosis transmission to other animals occurs after an animal has an abortion. The organism can also be transmitted to humans, often through consumption of unpasteurized milk or dairy products such as soft cheese, which may result in a severe disease called undulant fever.

Brucellosis is an exotic disease that came from Europe and European cattle and was then transmitted to wildlife in the U.S., establishing the reservoir in elk and bison seen in the Greater YellowstoneArea.

“We have eradicated the disease from livestock but occasionally get a disease spillover from elk transmitting the organism to livestock,” said Bruce Hoar, University of Wyoming brucellosis research coordinator. “One of the ways we try to control brucellosis is through the use of vaccinations.”

Scientists are interested in pursuing vaccines for wildlife, particularly elk; existing vaccines for cattle are not very effective at preventing disease in elk. The emphasis, though, is on livestock vaccines, said Hoar.

Cattle in the U.S. have been vaccinated since the 1930s with a vaccine called Strain 19. That vaccine was moderately effective preventing 60-70 percent of cattle from aborting after becoming infected, said Hoar. Strain 19 was replaced by a vaccine called RB51 in the 1990s and is the currently licensed vaccine for cattle.

“It, too, only protects 60-70 percent of animals in the herd, so that leaves 30-40 percent of the herd vulnerable, and, because of that, we are looking for better vaccines, and that is what a team of researchers here at the University of Wyoming have been involved in for a number of years,” said Hoar.

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Goshen County 4-H meat judging team national reserve champion

From left, coach Michael Olsen, Skyler Miller, Makenna Greenwald, Danielle Schainost, Nelson Lewis, and coach Mai Lee Olson.

From left, coach Michael Olsen, Skyler Miller, Makenna Greenwald, Danielle Schainost, Nelson Lewis, and coach Mai Lee Olson.

Goshen County’s 4-H meat judging team won reserve champion in October at the American Royal competition in Kansas City, Mo.

Team member Danielle Schainost, president of Goshen Livestockers 4-H Club, and a freshman at Eastern Wyoming College, earned a perfect score on retail identification and was the contest’s overall top individual.

Michael and Mai Lee Olsen coached the four-person team. Other team members are:

·      Makenna Greenwald, president of Little Aggies 4-H Club, sophomore at Lingle-Fort Laramie High School.

·      Nelson Lewis, vice president of Goshen Livestockers 4-H Club, senior at Southeast High School.

·      Skyler Miller, president of Prairie Center 4-H Club, junior at Torrington High School.

Greenwald earned sixth-place overall individual and was champion individual in beef judging.

With a team score of 2,118, team members received various awards including the champion title in beef and total judging. They competed against teams from across the country including those from Colorado, Kansas, North Dakota, Virginia and Texas.

The team advanced to national competition by winning the Wyoming State 4-H Contest in April.

For more information on meats judging or other projects in Goshen County 4-H, contact the Goshen County UW Extension office in Torrington at 307-532-2436.

Inventive approaches lead to UW Extension creative recognition award

Tana Stith, left, visits with Caroline Danielson, an intern with Senator John Barrasso's office, earlier this year.

Tana Stith, left, visits with Caroline Danielson, an intern with Senator John Barrasso’s office, earlier this year in Casper.

Innovative avenues in information delivery and professional expertise led to the manager of the Office of Communications and Technology in the University of Wyoming Extension receiving the organization’s Creative Excellence Recognition Award.

Tana Stith received the honor Nov. 5 during the organization’s annual training in Laramie.

Nominators cited the professionalism of the office reflected in numerous interdisciplinary and cross-campus projects. Her collaboration is friendly, energetic and goal-oriented producing a professional presence at the University of Wyoming and across Wyoming, nominators stated.

Stith, whose speciality is graphic design, was the driving force behind the 100 Years of Extension traveling display. Through photographs, articles and interactive computer displays, the presentation shows how UW Extension has responded to Wyoming citizen needs since 1914.

Stith’s expertise is reflected in her work with extension’s quarterly magazine Barnyards & Backyards, extension’s yearly publication CONNECT and the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment station’s annual research magazine Reflections and Field Days Bulletin. The UW Extension Office of Communications and Technology team has received many state and national awards for publications and video work.

Stith joined the University of Wyoming in 1988 and UW Extension in 1990.

Educator based in Casper receives UW Extension’s newer employee honor

Hannah Swanbom

Hannah Swanbom

Creating unique programs that meet community development needs prompted a University of Wyoming Extension educator to receive the organization’s newer employee recognition honor.

Hannah Swanbom, the community development educator based in Natrona County and also serving Converse and Niobrara counties, received the award Nov. 5 during the organization’s annual training in Laramie.

“This is a great honor, and I would like to thank my peers and colleagues who nominated me for this award,” she said.

Swanbom has leveraged her knowledge of rural Wyoming to create community development education programs that address community needs, her nomination information states. “Her vibrant personality and her desire to work with the people within extension shows in her successful educational programming and her respect from clientele and collaborators,” according to her nomination.

Swanbom received her master’s degree in agricultural extension and her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Iowa State University. She joined extension in 2012.

Extension has offices in every Wyoming county and the Wind River Reservation.

UW Extension, Farm Service Agency offer farm program information series

John Hewlett

John Hewlett

Details of new farm programs will be covered during meetings across Wyoming that begin Dec. 12 in Worland and end Dec. 19 in Gillette.

The University of Wyoming Extension and the Wyoming Farm Service Agency (FSA) offer the sessions.

Highlights are base acre updates, yield updates, online decision tools, analyzing information for a farm or ranch, and insurance plans including agriculture risk coverage, price loss coverage, supplemental coverage option and non-insured crop disaster assistance buy-up coverage.

Presenters include Nicole Ballenger, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wyoming, John Hewlett, a farm and ranch management specialist in the department, and FSA farm program specialists. Ballenger and Hewlett are in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

For information about the programs, see

Locations and meeting start times are:

Worland – 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 12, Worland Community Center, 1200 Culbertson Ave.

Cheyenne – 10 a.m., Monday Dec. 15, Health Sciences Room 111, Laramie County Community College, 1400 E. College Dr.

Wheatland – 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15, First State Bank, 1405 16th St.

Torrington – 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16, Platte Valley Bank, 2201 Main St.

Riverton – 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17, Fremont County Fairgrounds, 1010 Fairgrounds Rd.

Wind River Casino – 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17, Training Room. Wind River Casino is 2 miles south of Riverton, Hwy 789.

Powell – 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, Powell Research and Extension Center, 747 Rd. 9

Gillette – 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 19, Campbell County Library, 2101 South 4-J Rd.