Fiber animal production, wool workshop near Laramie

Fiber animal care, shearing and processing and marketing of fiber products information will be presented at a workshop Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Laramie Research and Extension Center Wool Lab.

The workshop is 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Turn right immediately after entering the Cliff and Martha Hansen Teaching Arena entrance on Wyo. 230 southwest of Laramie. The wool lab is the first building on the left.

“The workshop will be good introductions to raising fiber animals and understanding the steps in creating a marketable fiber product. Future shepherds and fiber enthusiasts will learn from the best producers and marketers around,” said UW Extension specialist Cole Ehmke, who is helping organize the workshop.

This event is organized by UW Extension and supported by the Laramie Rivers Conservation District and the USDA Risk Management Agency.

Lunch and snacks will be provided. Registration is requested online by Nov. 1 at Registration is $15.

For more information, contact Ehmke at 307-766-3782 or

UW Meat Judging Team brings home eastern national win

From left, coach Zeb Gray, Emilee Brinton, McKensie Harris, Jaris Baker, Lara Allnutt, Austin Buzanowski.
From left, coach Zeb Gray, Emilee Brinton, McKensie Harris, Jaris Baker, Lara Allnutt, Austin Buzanowski.

University of Wyoming’s Meat Judging Team brought home a win Oct. 5 in Wyalusing, Penn., at the Eastern National Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest.

The Eastern National is the first contest win for a UW team since 2000.

This year’s contest was the largest ever with 110 competitors from 16 land-grant universities. UW team members are Jaris Baker, Minnies Gap, McKensie Harris, Laramie, Emilee Brinton, Newnan, Ga., Lara Allnutt, Walden, Co., and Austin Buzanowski, Pompey’s Pillar, Mont., and coach Zeb Gray represented Wyoming.

The team broke the UW specifications record by placing second, and also placed second in beef grading and overall beef, third in reasons, fourth in beef judging and fifth in pork judging. Although the UW team did not win a single division, they finished ahead of the second place team by 18 points.

“It’s rare for a team to win a contest without winning a single division, but to win by that margin makes it even more impressive,” stated Gray. “We put ourselves in a position to win because we were consistent across all divisions.”

Brinton led the team with the second-highest individual score while winning high individual honors in beef grading and receiving second in overall beef. Allnutt was right behind her with the sixth highest individual score and placing third in specifications. Harris tied for first in specifications with a perfect score, and Buzanowski received tenth place honors in specifications.

“I’m thrilled for the students on the team. It takes a tremendous amount of dedication and sacrifice just to compete on the team and nothing is guaranteed,” said Gray. “But to win, that was so exciting and I’m sure they’ll remember it forever.”

For further information or questions about the University of Wyoming Meat Judging Team, please contact Gray at

UW, CSU team for allied battle against cheatgrass

Cheatgrass coverCheatgrass is short, but the University of Wyoming is knee-deep in research projects in the battle against this invasive species.

“Cheatgrass Management Handbook: Managing an invasive annual grass in the Rocky Mountain Region” is the latest product from The Rocky Mountain Cheatgrass Project – a partnership between the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University.

Cheatgrass (downy brome) is a common factor connecting a number of resource concerns for producers and natural resource managers from sage grouse habitat to wildfire devastation.

“It’s (the handbook) combining some ecological work and some economic analysis to try to determine the best management practices for cheatgrass management in both states,” according to Brian Mealor, UW Extension weed specialist.

Mealor said cheatgrass research has been ongoing since the 1940s especially in the Great Basin area where it’s been a significant issue for a longer time. He’s been involved in UW’s efforts since hired in 2009, and said questions about cheatgrass management are predominant from around the state.

“The past several years, it seems like across the state there’s been a more concerted effort to do more cheatgrass work,” said Mealor, an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Last year, we reinitiated what is called the Wyoming Cheatgrass Task Force.”

The task force has statewide representatives from UW, the Wyoming Weed and Pest Council, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts and Wyoming State Forestry Division. The Bureau of Land Management is the organizing agency.

Continue reading UW, CSU team for allied battle against cheatgrass

Uinta County secretary earns UW Extension’s top award

Annie Erickson
Annie Erickson

Annie Erickson in the Uinta County office of University of Wyoming Extension has received extension’s top honor for secretaries.

Erickson received the Frances Freese Secretary of the Year award during the annual Extension Secretary Conference – A Professional Event (ESCAPE) meeting in Evanston Oct. 2-4.

Erickson joined UW Extension in December 2002.

The plaque physically represents an accomplishment but, “The relationships she has built with the young people and adults who utilize extension in our county are more powerful than any other form of accomplishment anyone could earn,” wrote one nominator.

Her personality never waivers, wrote another, and she has a happiness and smile that rubs off on anyone she is around. She treats each client as if they were the most important thing she has to deal with that day, stated another.

The award recognizes extension secretaries for outstanding contributions and accomplishments and is presented 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.

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

4-H educators, specialist receive national recognition


Albany and Johnson County 4-H educators and a state specialist have received honors from the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA).

Mary Louise Wood, University of Wyoming Extension 4-H educator in Albany County, received the Achievement in Service Award. Wood was presented the award Sept. 18 in Pittsburgh during the association’s annual conference. Wood serves as president of the Wyoming Association of Extension 4-H Agents.

4-H educator Rachel Vardiman of Johnson County received the Distinguished Service Award, and Warren Crawford received the Meritorious Service Award. Crawford is a youth development specialist in the Wyoming State 4-H Program Office in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Laramie. Vardiman and Crawford were unable to attend the conference.