UW Extension range specialist receives honor for service

Mike Smith
Mike Smith

A University of Wyoming Extension range specialist has received the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wyoming Section Society for Range Management (SRM).

Mike Smith, a professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources,received the award during the organization’s meeting in Sheridan last month.

Smith has been an SRM member since 1965.

The award recognizes SRM members for long-term contributions to SRM and range management,according to the organization. Recipients show sustained, outstanding lifetime contributions to the art and science of range management and continued SRM involvement at the section and society levels.

UW Extension offers CDL study training sessions

Commercial drivers license (CDL) training will be offered in Powell Dec. 17-19 at the Powell Research and Extension Center.

The goal is to prepare participants for the written and vehicle inspection tests, said Sandra Frost, University of Wyoming Extension educator. The class does not include driving practice.

The state of Wyoming enforces the class of license regulations even if you are a farmer driving your product within 150 miles of your farm, she said. Class regulation is dependent upon the vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating.

All three days of the study group will offer morning and afternoon sessions. Morning sessions will vary in topics, and each afternoon will offer inspection practice.

Tuesday will provide general information for all class licenses. Air brakes and a question-and-answer session with a Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper is Wednesday. Thursday’s class covers tankers, combination vehicles and other Class A information.

Class A students will need all three mornings of training. Class B students only need to attend the first two. All students will need the three afternoons of inspection practice.

Registration for the class is $25. To register or for more information, contact Frost at307-754-8836 or sfrost1@uwyo.edu. A brochure about the CDL study group is at http://www.uwyo.edu/ces/bighorncrops/index.html.

Wyoming 4-H Foundation increases donations to counties

4-H'ers compete in the champion of champions market lamb challenge at the 2013 Wyoming State Fair and Rodeo.
4-H’ers compete in the champion of champions market lamb challenge at the 2013 Wyoming State Fair and Rodeo.

Wyoming State 4-H Foundation donations to counties increased by more than $53,000 in fiscal year 2013 for a total of $241,041.

There are more than 7,000 Wyoming 4-H’ers. The foundation and the 4-H program work to expose youths to subjects like animal science, technology and natural resources. 4-H’ers gain life skills such as self-confidence and problem solving.

The foundation is a non-profit organization and the fundraising arm of the 4-H program, said University of Wyoming 4-H Program coordinator Johnathan Despain.

“Its sole purpose is to generate income, take in donations and do fundraising to support the 4-H programming efforts,” he said.

Wyoming 4-H is celebrating 100 years of the partnership between the USDA, land-grant universities and state and county governments. Despain said funding has been reduced by those institutions, and 4-H has been able to regroup, but now more than ever, thefoundation’s role is critical.

“At some point in time, the program will either go away, or people are going to have to step up to make the program happen and figure out long-term sustainability plans,” he said. “We’re trying to, through the foundation, create those plans so our programs can continue on … so the kids always have the benefit for the long-haul.”

Long-term is the goal of foundation efforts.

The $53,000 increase in FY13 was due in part to successful fundraising events but also due to a long-term benefactor who died and left a large amount to the foundation.

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UW research one step toward solving antibiotic resistance

Associate Professor Dan Wall
Associate Professor Dan Wall

Pursued by death squads. Assassins at every turn.

It ain’t easy being Myxococcus xanthus – or worse – another bacterium in their path.

Luckily for humans, the soil bacteria hooligans (depending upon which side of the single cell microorganisms you’re on) and scientists at the University of Wyoming could be building steps toward solving antibiotic resistance.

The death rate for patients with serious infections treated in hospitals is about twice that in patients with infections caused by non-resistant bacteria, according to the World Health Organization. Many infectious diseases risk becoming untreatable and uncontrollable.

Antibiotic resistance extends far beyond being unable to control illnesses like pneumonia. Ineffective antibiotics could compromise organ transplants, cancer chemotherapy and major surgery.

Resistance begins with the bacteria version of a very intimate hello and handshake then a complex process of exchanging immunity.

Molecular biologist Dan Wall in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and his research group found that myxobacteria recognize related strains and can join outer membranes and exchange cellular material. His research was published in the November PLOSGenetics journal.

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