University of Wyoming Extension News

Land-grant universities offer wildfire protection information website

Protecting a house from wildfire is detailed along with other fire-wise suggestions at a website managed by land-grant universities and federal agencies.

The University of Wyoming Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) site contains emergency contacts and information to help before, during and after natural and human-caused disasters.

“EDEN is a national organization of extension people all over the United States who work on all emergencies,” said Ron Cunningham, a UW Extension educator based in Fremont County. “It has information for all kinds of emergencies: wildfires, floods, blizzards – you name it.”

For example, the Living with Fire link takes readers to a website of the same name offering information about creating defensible space, embers, evacuations, living with fire and what to do after a fire.

Cunningham and Barton Stam, an extension educator based in Hot Springs County, are the Wyoming delegates to the national EDEN committee.

Go to uwyo.edu/ces and click on Extension Educational Program Areas on the left-hand side, then Ag and Natural Resources, the link under Disasters, then Wildfires under Natural Disasters.

The wildfire section includes:

·         You can save your home from a wildfire

·         Firewise landscaping: The basics

·         Firewise construction

·         Protect your home against wildfire damage

·         How to make your home fire-safe

·         Living with fire

·         Firewise plants and construction

Other resources to help residents prepare and recover from disasters are under the Quick Links section.

Website keeps farmers and ranchers apprised of safety, health concerns

Farmers and ranchers have an online resource for safety and health-related information.

The site, www.extension.org/farm_safety_and_health, is through eXtension, a national consortium of 74 land-grant universities that provides online access to research-based information and education.

“Agriculture is a dangerous industry,” said Randy Weigel, director of Wyoming AgrAbility and a professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Wyoming.  “This online resource is now available to serve the hardworking men, women and families with up-to-date safety and health materials to protect the most valuable assets: agricultural producers and workers.”

Articles on safety and health and a calendar of farm safety events are on the site.

Topics include safety when baling and handling large round bales, confined space hazards, gas monitoring of manure pit gases, beef cattle handling safety, ATV safety, hearing loss and protection for agricultural producers and grain bin entrapments.

For more information, contact Wyoming AgrAbility at 1-866-395-4986 or by email to agrability@uwyo.edu, or visit www.uwyo.edu/agrability.

UW ag college dean honored for natural resource protection efforts

Frank Galey

The dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming has been honored for his efforts to protect Wyoming’s natural resources.

The Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) presented Frank Galey the Guardian of the Grasslands award during its Wyoming cattle industry convention in Jackson.

“The college’s partnership with the Wyoming Stock Growers Association is very important,” said Galey. “We work well together, and I feel very privileged to have been given this award.”

The award is not limited to members of the WSGA nor is it intended to be awarded annually but when a uniquely qualified candidate emerges, according to the WSGA.

Galey has demonstrated outstanding efforts through strong leadership of the governor’s brucellosis task force, his commitment to brucellosis research as well as his contribution to the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources for the past 13 years, according to the WSGA.

“While working in the dean’s office, I saw on a daily basis how important agriculture and natural resources are to Galey,” said Brittany Schaneman, WSGA intern and recent College of Agriculture and Natural Resources graduate.

“He strives to encourage students to enhance the image of agriculture and natural resources in Wyoming.”

Galey received his Ph.D. in veterinary biosciences and holds a specialty certification in toxicology. His research interests include the fields of diagnostic and forensic medicine, plant and other natural product poisonings and analytical pharmacology and toxicology.

Smartphone app helps Wyoming 4-H bridge communications gap

A screen image of the 4-H smartphone app

Add an “A” to those four H’s.

A smartphone app developed by the Wyoming 4-H Program appeals to younger members as a way to keep them in the communications loop and is a key component of the program’s communication strategy.

“I started using it about the end of March after we got back from the national conference in Washington D.C.,” said Olivia Roybal, a 4-H’er in Carbon County. “My favorites about the app are that it gives us the information you may need or to remember a date that you didn’t write down — you can just look it up on the app. Things for the county are nice, too, because it really is specific to our county.”

Wyoming 4-H has more than 8,000 members, and 4-H educators have contact with more than 25,000 youth through the schools or other venues, according to the state program office.

The app is designed for iPhones and phones with Droid-based software and is free for anyone to download; it was the first 4-H-specific smartphone app in the United States available for free, according to Johnathan Despain, state 4-H program coordinator.

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UW Extension publications receive national awards

Josh and Sarah Smith of Rawlins are the featured landowners in the summer edition of Barnyards & Backyards magazine. They want to sustainably raise natural, grass-fed Highland cattle on the family ranch.

University of Wyoming Extension magazines received gold and silver awards and publications for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources received bronze awards from the international Association for Communication Excellence (ACE).

The awards were presented during the organization’s annual meeting June 11-14 in Annapolis, Md. The Office of Communications and Technology in UW Extension produces all the publications.

Barnyards & Backyards magazine, published quarterly, received the gold award for magazines and periodicals. Barnyards & Backyards provides information from land resource professionals to be of help to small-acreage landowners in Wyoming.

CONNECT, published annually, received a silver award in the same category. The magazine showcases examples of UW Extension educators working with the people of Wyoming.

Ag News, published every four months, received a bronze award in Newsletters. Ag News highlights the activities of staff and faculty members and the research, educational and outreach programs in the college.

Reflections, published yearly, received a bronze award in electronic publications. The magazine highlights the teaching, research and outreach efforts of faculty and staff members in the college.

The Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences is an international association of communicators, educators and information technologists.