UW Extension educator joins Big Horn County

Mae Smith
Mae Smith

Mae Smith will begin as the University of Wyoming Extension educator in Big Horn County Monday, March 31.

Smith is based in Greybull and also serves Fremont, Hot Springs, Park and Washakie counties and the Wind River Reservation.

She has been the extension educator based in Carbon County and serving southeast Wyoming since June 2011. Her specialty is rangeland resources.

A Pinedale native, Smith graduated from Colorado State University with a master’s degree in rangeland ecosystem science. She received her bachelor’s degree in rangeland ecology and watershed management from UW in May 2008.

April Month of the Military Child; community groups honor military kids


A camper at Eaton's Ranch.
A camper at Eaton’s Ranch.

The family with seven children knew communication and team-building activities at the Operation: Military Kids (OMK) camp near Centennial would help them be more resilient during the father’s deployment.

The teenager from southeastern Wyoming attending a 7 Habits for Highly Effective Teens event realized other teens across the state were experiencing the same stresses.

Events next week and in April across Wyoming recognize sacrifices made by militaryfamilies and their children. Not heavily promoted, OMK gives families and especially youths tools to be resilient during a deployment but also during reintegration of the family upon a parent’s return.

OMK supports children of deployed soldiers from all branches of the military including National Guard and Reserve. Regulations restrict military identification of families.

“We know there are military families in every county,” said Eloise Riley, OMK coordinator based in Laramie County. “It’s becoming a challenge to find them in the counties that are far from southeast Wyoming.”

Riley said about 5,000 military sons and daughters are in Wyoming, but that number doesn’t include extended family relationships such as siblings or aunts and uncles deployed.

Those deployed can wrestle financial stresses upon return or post traumatic stress disorder and its affects not only upon them but family members.

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Casper workshop to discuss, improve sage grouse habitat restoration

A sage grouse habitat restoration workshop is Wednesday and Thursday, March 26-27, in Casper hosted by the Wyoming Reclamation and Restoration Center (WRRC) at the University of Wyoming.

“This workshop features researchers, practitioners, consultants, wildlife experts, agency folks, and ranchers discussing methods and actions to improve or restore sage grouse habitat in Wyoming,” said Calvin Strom, research scientist in the WRRC at theUniversity of Wyoming.

UW helps provide 2014 farm bill education

John Hewlett
John Hewlett

Information about the Agricultural Act of 2014 is being provided to producers and otherag-related professionals through a series of nationally broadcast webinars hosted by specialists from UW Extension and six western states.

Called “Ag In Uncertain Times,” Web access to recorded webinars and other materials is at AgInUncertainTimes.FarmManagement.org.

“I would describe this effort as truly innovative and demonstrates an extraordinary extension team effort to address the difficult times faced byagricultural enterprise managers across the United States,” said Roger Coupal, associate professor and head of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

UW Extension farm/ranch management specialist John Hewlett has been a part of the team since its inception in 2009.

“UW has contributed substantially to the overall efforts of the team,” said Hewlett. “I’ve been involved in offering presentations, emceeing for other presenters, as well as recording, editing and posting all of the more than 100 individual compiled presentations to the Internet. UW also provides the Web servers and tracking for user access.”

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UW Extension publishes hoop house DIY guide

High tunnels with coverings.
High tunnels with coverings.

A University of Wyoming Extension do-it-yourself guide to building a high tunnel includes how-to videos that can be viewed by computer or hand-held device.

“Hard-sided High Tunnel Construction,” B-1240, details how to build a structure with commonly available materials.

High tunnels extend the growing season by protecting young plants from the cold of early spring and past traditional fall frost dates.

“High tunnels are passive structures and an economical option for individuals who cannot afford to build or operate a greenhouse,” said Jeff Edwards, extension educator and who shows how to construct a high tunnel from the ground up.

The bulletin uses the free app Aurasma that enables anyone with a smartphone or tablet to point their device at an image and view the associated video. Instructions for using the app are at the front of the bulletin. Videos are also accessible via the QR code reader app on smartphones.

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