University of Wyoming Extension News

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.

Agriculture entrepreneurship specialist receives UW Extension’s highest honor

Cole Ehmke

Cole Ehmke

An educator known for involvement in University of Wyoming Extension programs across Wyoming has received the organization’s highest honor.

Cole Ehmke, an agriculture entrepreneurship and personal financial management specialist, received the Jim DeBree Excellence in Education Award Nov. 5 during extension’s annual conference in Laramie.

Ehmke is in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The award, named in honor of the retired extension administrator, is given to those who demonstrate a high level of professionalism, performance and leadership within their program areas and communities.

Ehmke is involved with several extension teams, including community development and financial literacy, and provides support to the Agriculture and Horticulture State Initiative Team.

His many programming efforts include:

*  A nine-week series for new and beginning farmers in the Big Horn Basin,

* Publishing a series of 11 estate planning bulletins,

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UW Extension educator’s work prompts diversity enhancement award

Educator Justina Russell

Educator Justina Russell

Innovative programs and responding to the needs of her clientele earned a University of Wyoming Extension educator the organization’s Diversity Enhancement Award.

Tina Russell, who serves the Wind River Reservation and Big Horn, Fremont, Hot Springs, Park and Washakie counties, was recognized Nov. 5 during extension’s annual training in Laramie. Russell, also a 4-H educator, is based in Ethete.

Russell’s specialties include agriculture and natural resources, forestry, energy efficiency and conservation and recycling education.

Her demeanor and persistence drew praise.

“She responds to the needs of her audience and collaborates well with community organizers and colleagues with quiet persistence, friendly professionalism and cultural understanding,” wrote one nominator.

She has many accomplishments. Russell assembled a committee of members of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes to generate the first Wind River Reservation Leadership Program.

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