Teton County associate receives UW Extension’s top secretary award

Gwen Hansen

An office associate described as the backbone of the Teton County UW Extension office has received the Frances Freese Secretary of the Year Award.

Gwen Hansen joined the office in Jackson 16 years ago.

Last year’s recipient, Julie Miner of the Park County office in Powell, made the announcement during Extension Secretary Conference – A Professional Event (ESCAPE) in Wheatland Sept. 19-21.

“She does not like being in the spotlight and often does her work in the background out of the notice and attention of many,” wrote one nominator. “Those in this community who have had the pleasure of working or interacting with her, however, recognize she has been and continues to be the true backbone of our extension office.”

Wrote another, “She makes everyone in our office feel welcome and appreciated. She is the heart of our office, and we would be lost if we did not have her.”

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

The award recognizes extension secretaries for outstanding contributions and accomplishments and is awarded each year during ESCAPE. Freese worked at the Wind River Indian Reservation extension office then moved to the Fremont County office, where she worked for 25 years.

Preparing meat jerky at home workshop topic in Rock Springs

Participants will learn how to select meat and prepare jerky during hands-on sessions at a workshop Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 3-4, in Rock Springs.

The sessions are 6:30-8:30 p.m. both days in room 1444 at Western Wyoming Community College, said Josefina Ibarra, nutrition and food safety educator with University of Wyoming Extension.

The cost is $10 per person for supplies.

Sessions cover meat selection, preparation, seasoning and curing, food safety recommendations, smoking and drying equipment and proper storage.

Ibarra and Shawn Moore, meat and health inspector with the Wyoming Department of Health, will teach the sessions.

“It is a great opportunity for Wyoming residents to come and learn how to safely preserve their meat,” said Ibarra. “It’s the time of the year when hunters come back home and preserve their meat through different preservation processes: freezing, dehydrating or canning.”

For more information or to register, please contact the UW Extension office in Sweetwater County at 307-352-6775 or 307-872-6310.

Financial protection UW Consumer Issues Conference theme

A workshop during the 2011 Consumer Issues Conference.

Major consumer financial protection issues will be covered during the 12th annual Consumer Issues Conference Wednesday-Friday, Oct. 3-5, at the Wyoming Union on the University of Wyoming campus.

This year’s theme is “Consumer Financial Protection: Who’s in Charge?”

Attendance is free for UW students and employees. Regular registration is $65; the cost for senior citizens and active military members is $55.

Exhibitors and those with academic or project posters are welcome to attend, said organizers.

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New ranch tools website can help Wyoming ranchers operate sustainably

Tools to help Wyoming ranchers have sustainable operations are on a new University of Wyoming Extension website.

“Ranchers have many tools at their availability like tractors, fencing pliers and calf pullers,” said Bridger Feuz, livestock marketing specialist for UW Extension. “However, sometimes it is harder to find good tools to help make important ranch decisions. The tools developed on this website are intended to fill that need for ranchers.”

The Wyoming Ranch Tools website www.uwyoextension.org/ranchtools has fact sheets and six tools to help ranchers utilize the tools and better understand the concepts.

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Farm safety week focuses on family

Encouraging farm safety to be a family affair is the theme of National Farm Safety and Health Week Sept.16-22.

“The importance of this year’s theme cannot be stressed enough, since farm safety can start from within the home with the family,” said Chelsea Hampton, project coordinator for Wyoming AgrAbility. “This concept is especially appreciated within Wyoming, which is home to many rural communities and small farm operations.”

Wyoming AgrAbility is a partnership of the University of Wyoming Extension, Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND), Wyoming Independent Living Rehabilitation (WILR) and Wyoming Services for Independent Living (WSIL), and is part of a national program administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The annual farm safety week is the third week in September and has been recognized since 1944.

“While it is always important to be aware of farm safety practices, this annual observance calls for a special acknowledgement of one of society’s largest sectors – the agricultural industry,” said Hampton. “It is well known that jobs in agriculture are some of the most hazardous professions, which is why it is vital to shed light on the risks, hazards and steps toward prevention.”

For more information on safety on the farm or ranch or information on how Wyoming AgrAbility may be able to help, call toll-free 866-395-4986, e-mail agrability@uwyo.edu or visit www.uwyo.edu/agrability.