Fall follows fame (sort of) for Worland giant pumpkins

Jay Richard, who grew Washakie County’s recorded largest-ever pumpkin, at the weigh-in at the Lungren Girls’ Farm.
Jay Richard, who grew Washakie County’s recorded largest-ever pumpkin, at the weigh-in at the Lungren Girls’ Farm.

Time is running out for a couple of upstart giant pumpkins in Worland.

Maximus and Gourdon (‘Gourd-on’) burst onto the scene last spring, the subject of Twitter tweets, YouTube videos and a grower’s blog at Big Pumpkins.com. They have their own Facebook page (search Gourdon and Maximus – The Giant Pumpkins of Worland, WY).

Worland seems to be growing a patch of pumpkin fanatics.

Caitlin Youngquist, a University of Wyoming Extension educator, introduced the aptly named Maximus and Gourdon on her “Dr. Caitlin” website in March, and the pair just kept growing, literally.

A soil scientist in Washakie County and the Big Horn Basin, Youngquist specializes in soil health, compost, organic waste management – and giant pumpkins.

Her “Dr. Caitlin” site (http://bit.ly/DrCaitlinGiantPumpkins) covers hot topics to growers, such as pumpkins’ chemical makeup, male and female flowers, fungus and root relations and eating baby pumpkins – which she did, grilled, with salmon.

Washakie County grower Jay Richard nurtured Maximus and Gourdon from Dill’s Atlantic Giant pumpkin seeds, with Youngquist advising and shooting how-to videos on her cell phone. Like a proud papa, Richard posted photos and growth reports on Big Pumpkins.com. Continue reading Fall follows fame (sort of) for Worland giant pumpkins

White House honors Glendo rancher as Champion of Change

Larry Cundall at the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center field day in August. Cundall was honored by the White House for his leadership and innovation in agricultural production and education.
Larry Cundall at the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center field day in August. Cundall was honored by the White House for his leadership and innovation in agricultural production and education.

Glendo rancher Larry Cundall was one of 12 people recognized in ceremonies Oct. 26 in Washington, D.C., for exemplary leadership and innovation in agricultural production and education.

Cundall was the only rancher honored in the White House Champions of Change for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture program.

During a panel presentation in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with other recipients – including a dairy farmer from Minnesota, a rice farmer from Mississippi, and a garbanzo and garlic grower from California – Cundall was asked to define sustainability.

 “In Wyoming, it’s pretty simple,” he said. “If it’s profitable and the land stays good for the next generation, that’s sustainable.”

The Champions of Change program features individuals doing extraordinary things to inspire and empower members of their communities, according to the White House.

Cundall, a Vietnam War Veteran and fourth-generation rancher, was recognized for managing his land for increased productivity while protecting wildlife and natural resources.

He manages water to decrease water use and labor costs; he has switched from windmills to solar wells and has added miles of waterlines for better water use and grazing distribution, the White House noted.

Cundall has served more than 25 years on the Administrative Council of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program for the western region. The program provides USDA grants and outreach enabling farmers, ranchers, researchers and educators to develop innovations that support profitability, protect water and land and revitalize communities. Continue reading White House honors Glendo rancher as Champion of Change

UW Extension offers Fremont County beef cattle AI school

Beef cattle artificial insemination is the subject of a four-day course in Riverton offered by UW Extension.

School days are Nov. 12, 16, 19 and 23, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Fremont County Fairgrounds Armory Building at 1010 Fairground Road.

Extension educator Chance Marshall said the hands-on course teaches AI palpation and technique, anatomy and physiology, genetic selection, estrus synchronization, nutrition, heifer development, equipment use and more.

Cost is $75 for adults and $60 for high school and college students. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required.

The Wyoming State Veterinary Board gives classroom credit for those seeking certification as a bovine artificial insemination technician.

For more information or to register, contact Kim Collins at 307-332-2363 or Marshall at 307-682-7281 or clm10@ccgov.net.

UW Extension offers resources to help property owners contend with wildfire

thayer_fire_north_of_harrisonInformation that could help landowners and homeowners before, during and after wildfires is available from the University of Wyoming Extension.

“Dry and windy conditions around the state have had many of us thinking about wildfire, whether we live in forested or grass lands,” said Jennifer Thompson, small-acreage issue team coordinator with UW Extension. “If this is on your mind, you may want to review your wildfire damage prevention and evacuation plans. We have some resources that can help get you started making a plan or help you review your current plan.”

Information at http://bit.ly/wildfirewise includes a 48-page guide “Living with Wildfire in Wyoming” that can be viewed or downloaded. Its individual stories are also available for viewing or download. Topics include creating defensible space around a property, animal evacuation plans, homeowner or business insurance checkup, firewise landscaping, reducing wildfire risks and more.

Hardcopy versions are in many local UW Extension offices around the state. Extension has offices in every county and the Wind River Reservation.

For more information, contact Thompson at 307-745-3698 or UW Extension offices.

Endowment-funded extension projects focus less processed foods, creating 4-H program toward UW credit

Robin Schamber
Robin Schamber
Karla Case
Karla Case

Decreasing the amount of processed foods consumed and enabling 4-H’ers to earn University of Wyoming

credit for their years of animal science activities are projects stemming from an endowment created by a Wyoming foundation for use by University of Wyoming Extension.

The John P. Ellbogen Foundation endowment, when matched by the state, is expected to generate $30,000 a year for projects by educators to extend the vision of the foundation and UW across the state.

The two proposals were among six received and reviewed by a five-person committee representing the foundation and extension.

Extension director Glen Whipple called the two inaugural projects outstanding ideas.

“I can hardly wait to see them benefitting Wyoming youths and adults,” he said, and added extension personnel are excited about the endowment. “Looking to the future, it will help us to develop more innovative and dynamic extension education programs for Wyoming residents.”

Continue reading Endowment-funded extension projects focus less processed foods, creating 4-H program toward UW credit