Beef cattle nutrition focus of UW Extension workshop

UW Extension cow-calf workshop emphasizes working with the land to maximize nutrition.

A workshop near Buffalo is for beef cow-calf ranchers who want to boost animal nutrition with well-defined forage supplements to improve animal performance, including conception rates, by matching their operation’s annual cycle to the land.

“Meeting the Nutritional Needs of Range Beef Cattle,” presented by University of Wyoming Extension of Johnson County, is Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 17-18, at the conference center of the TA Guest Ranch 13 miles south of Buffalo on Old Hwy 87.

The cost of $80 for one participant and $50 for additional participants from the same ranch covers breaks and lunches. Course materials include tables to help assess the nutrient needs of cows based on their mature weight.

The workshop is modeled after the late Dick Diven’s low-cost, cow-calf program school, said Blaine Horn, UW Extension rangeland and forage management educator. Horn is leading the workshop with Jim Waggoner, UW Extension range-livestock
nutrition management specialist and associate professor in ecosystem science and management.

“Our aim is to help ranchers appreciate how the land can be the only source of feed energy for their cowherd,” said Horn.

They will learn when during the annual cow-calf cycle the most nutritious feed is required, when range forage is sufficient and how to avoid energy supplementation by working with the cow’s natural ability to store and relinquish fat energy, he said.

Participants will appreciate the phrase “you feed the bugs to feed the cow,” said Horn, referring to protein, energy and mineral needs.

Said Waggoner, “This is a highly interactive workshop, and we hope to provide an exciting and challenging forum in which to learn.”

Hands-on activities and exercises to help stimulate learning and understanding are planned, he said.

Workshop topics include the following:

  • Postpartum interval and length of breeding season; body condition scoring to assess nutrient needs; and understanding cattle growth and development.
  • Beef cows’ energy needs; the net energy maintenance system; energy components of feeds and forages; monthly energy content of rangeland forage and methods of assessment.
  • How to manage weight gain or loss to minimize winter feeding costs.
  • Degradable intake protein and its relationship to net energy maintenance and cow protein needs for maintenance, gestation and lactation.
  • Monthly rangeland forage protein content and how much to supplement when there isn’t enough.
  • Macro- and micro‐mineral needs through the production year; estimating mineral intake from forage; and supplemental sources.

For more information, contact Horn at 307-684‐7522 or For information on the TA Ranch, see

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources recognizes outstanding staff, faculty members

Dean Frank Galey (center) Presented the Dean’s Outstanding Employee Awards to (left to right) Trish Hysong of family and consumer science and agricultural and applied economics; Kassandra Thomas, plant sciences and ecosystem science and management; and Anne Leonard, dean’s office.

Outstanding staff and faculty members in the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources were honored during the college’s annual Employee Recognition Program earlier this month.

Dean Frank Galey presented Outstanding Employee Awards to Trish Hysong, family and consumer sciences office assistant and agricultural and applied economics accounting associate; Anne Leonard, college relations coordinator; and Kassandra Thomas, plant sciences and ecosystem science and management office associate.

Also nominated were Karyn Bercheni, molecular biology accountant; Kelly Greenwald, administrative associate at the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center; Kali McCrackin Goodenough, Cent$ible Nutrition Program marketing coordinator; Joanne Newcomb, Agricultural Experiment Station office associate; Alison Shaver, ecosystem science and management accountant; and Melissa Stuart, molecular biology research scientist.

Outstanding Educator Award

The Office of Academic and Student Programs honored associate professor Pamela Langer of molecular biology with its Outstanding Educator Award.

Also nominated were Todd Cornish, associate professor, veterinary science; Andrew Kniss, associate professor, plant sciences; Dallas Mount, UW Extension range educator in Platte County and serving southeastern Wyoming; Steven Paisley, associate professor and extension beef cattle specialist, animal science; Denise Smith, UW Extension nutrition and food safety educator; and Christine Wade, associate professor, family and consumer sciences.

Meeboer, Outstanding Adviser Awards

Students in the college voted on teaching and advising awards. Professor Dan Rule of animal science received the Lawrence Meeboer Agricultural Classroom Teaching Award. Assistant professor Derek Scasta, rangeland specialist, ecosystem science and management, was presented the Outstanding Adviser Award.

Also nominated for the Meeboer Award was Professor Donal O’Toole, veterinary science.

Also nominated for the Outstanding Adviser Award were Wyoming Excellence Chair and professor Holly Ernest, veterinary science, and agricultural systems specialist John Ritten, associate professor, agricultural and applied economics.

Top Profs

Mortar Board “Top Prof” recipients also were recognized. Following are the “Top Profs” from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Mortar Board senior honor society members who selected them:

Family and Consumer Sciences – Brenda Cannon was selected by Morgan Hinkle of Riverton; Alyssa McElwain was selected by Kathryn Curry of Highlands Ranch, Colo.; Enette Larson-Meyer was selected by Erin Lindorfer of Boise, Idaho; and Michael Liebman was selected by Haley Ehrle of Shiocton, Wisc.

Microbiology – Rachel Watson was selected by Joellen Coates of Laramie.

Molecular biology – John Willford was selected by Rebecca Steinkraus of Laramie.

UW Livestock Judging Team member earns All-American Award

Blake Ochsner
Blake Ochsner

A University of Wyoming Livestock Judging Team member earning an All-American Award may cap a career like no other across the nation.

Blake Ochsner of Torrington received the honor during the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky., in November.

Ochsner is one of 11 students across the nation receiving the award, and UW is one of only five universities to have an All-American Award recipient, said Caleb Boardman, UW livestock judging coach.

Ochsner’s resume includes a meat judging All-American Award as a member of the UW reserve national champion team, a Junior College All-American Livestock Judge award for Casper College in 2014, and a member of the 2015 UW meat animal evaluation team, where he was second-high individual overall at the national contest.

Boardman believes Ochsner is the first person to ever accomplish being a three-time All-American.

“The amount of work he has put in both in academics and judging is unprecedented,” Boardman said. “He is the type of student that makes being a coach so enjoyable.”

Ochsner was named an outstanding senior in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources by Gamma Sigma Delta and is a member of the Block and Bridle, Collegiate Cattleman’s and Food Science clubs. He conducted an undergraduate research project on the “Regional Economic Impacts of Brucellosis.”

Off campus, he is involved with the Wyoming and National Junior Hereford associations and the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.

Ochsner will graduate with an agricultural business degree this month and plans to return to the family-owned Hereford and Angus ranch, which was established in 1913, as a fifth-generation member.

UW Extension offers horticulture course in Thermopolis

A portion of the WyoScape Xeric Demonstration Garden

Registration deadline is Friday, Dec. 16, for a March horticulture class in Thermopolis, according to Jeremiah Vardiman, University of Wyoming Extension educator.

Horticulture 101 will be six full days starting 8 a.m. Friday, March 3, with additional classes March 4, 17, 18, 31 and finishing April 1.

Vardiman said the course is 40 hours of gardening classes on a variety of topics including soils, insects, plant diseases, integrated pest management, vegetable and flower gardening, lawns and pruning, among others.

The class is open to the general public and those wishing to become Master Gardeners, he said. Following training, Master Gardeners give back to their communities through volunteer service.

The course fee of $250 includes the UW Sustainable Horticulture Handbook (textbook for the course), other course materials, lunch and refreshments each day.

There are options for registration. Online registration is at, pick up an application and class schedule at the Hot Springs County Extension Office, or register over the phone with the Park County Extension Office at 307-754-8836. Full payment is due Jan. 31. A minimum of 10 participants is needed for the class to take place, Vardiman said.

For more information contact Vardiman at 307-754-8836.