UW Extension program promotes senior fitness, independent living

Laura Balis distributing nutritional information pamphlets
Nutrition and food safety educator Laura Balis

An eight-week, group-based strength-training program is being offered this winter in Lander and Pavillion through the Fremont County University of Wyoming Extension office.

Extension nutrition and food safety educator Laura Balis said the “Lifelong Improvements through Fitness Together” classes promote strength, balance and flexibility with the goals of improving fitness and independent living in older adults. Nutrition education with an emphasis on fruit and vegetable consumption is also emphasized.

The Lander program is 10:30-11:30 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, Jan. 8-Feb. 28, at the Lander Senior Citizen’s Center, 205 S. 10th St.

The Pavillion program is 10-11 a.m. Mondays and Thursdays, Jan. 11-March 5, at Wind River Recreation, 424 S. Main.

Weights are provided at each location.

Contact Balis at 307-332-2363 or at lbalis@uwyo.edu for more information.

UW Extension bulletin identifies Wyoming pollinators, plants that attract

Picture of the pollinator guide coverIdentifying pollinators in Wyoming, their lifecycles and how to attract them are part of a new booklet from the University of Wyoming Extension.

“Promoting Pollinators on Your Place” looks at not only the myriad of insects – and hummingbirds – but also the flowers and other plants that attract them.

Pollination is essential for flower reproduction and many crops in Wyoming.

“Growing conditions for plants in Wyoming can be tough,” said Jennifer Thompson, extension small-acreage team coordinator. “Despite this, the state is host to an amazing variety of pollinators that visit them.”

The booklet also has raising bees and beekeeper information sections.

Copies of the bulletin are available at extension offices and many conservation district and weed and pest control district offices. A pdf version is available for download at bit.ly/wypollinators. The website contains links to all references mentioned in the booklet.

Jones said knowing what pollinators are there and what they are looking for, such as nectar, pollen and nesting sites, can help people create conditions that promote pollinator well-being in backyards, vegetable plots, hoop houses and fields.

Continue reading UW Extension bulletin identifies Wyoming pollinators, plants that attract

UW bulletin details vegetation mapping at Rogers Research Site

Picture of the bulletin cover, which shows a map with vegetation colored in. A pre-fire vegetation mapping project at the University of Wyoming’s Rogers Research Site (RRS) in southeast Wyoming will help future researchers, land managers and others assess changes in land cover and wildlife habitat at the mountainous site and surrounding lands.

The project is detailed in RRS Bulletin 4: “Vegetation Mapping of Rogers Research Site, north Laramie Mountains, Wyoming, Using High Spatial Resolution Photography and Heads-Up Digitizing.”

Bulletin 4 and others in the series can be downloaded at bit.ly/UWEpubs. Enter Rogers Research Site into the search bar.

“With good luck and fortune, the mapping work was completed prior to the 2012 Arapaho Fire,” said lead author Mathew Seymour. “Thus, our project will help forest managers and those conducting research in the area examine various vegetation as it existed pre-fire and whether post-fire habitats are transitioning back to pre-fire states or are trending toward alternative ecological states.”

The high-intensity wildfire burned ponderosa pine and other vegetation across nearly 100,000 acres in the area of Laramie Peak, including the 320-acre RRS.

The site was bequeathed to UW in 2002 by Col. William C. Rogers, who stated in his will that it be used, in part, for educational purposes and research relating to the improvement of forestry and wildlife resources.

The vegetation mapping work was completed by Seymour in 2006 while he was finishing two bachelor’s degrees at UW. His research and other studies at RRS are now being published in peer-reviewed bulletins by the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station (WAES), which manages the site in northeast Albany County.

“The vegetation map will assist researchers and those who manage private and public lands in the north Laramie Mountains regarding land management for socioeconomic and other benefits,” said Seymour, who went on to earn master’s and doctorate degrees at universities in Iceland and Switzerland before taking a postdoctoral research position in the Molecular and Fisheries Genetics Laboratory at Bangor University in Wales.

The map shows that in 2006, RRS was predominantly ponderosa pine forest (80 percent), with mixed grass and shrub lands (10 percent), quaking aspen (4 percent) and other features, including human development.

“When our map and an aerial image of RRS and surrounding lands taken the same year are compared to an aerial image taken in 2015, the dramatic effects of the Arapaho Fire on vegetation are easily seen,” Seymour said.

The lightning-caused wildfire occurred during an extreme drought, and it burned so hot it left many areas completely devoid of vegetation.

The bulletin is co-authored by Ken Driese, a senior lecturer in the UW Department of Botany who mentored Seymour during the mapping project, and WAES editor Robert Waggener.

Driese said the map will help researchers answer many questions about post-fire changes.

“How will shrubs and trees, including ponderosa pine, which once dominated the landscape, respond to the fire?” Driese asked. “Will trees return naturally in great numbers, or will the landscape remain dominated by grasses and shrubs because of climate change, changes in soil due to the fire’s intensity or the establishment of invasive species?”

Additionally, he questioned, “Can humans play a role in managing the soil and vegetation and, ultimately, their effects on wildlife, water and air quality?”

Preliminary findings from a ponderosa pine restoration study and pre- and post-fire soils research will be detailed in upcoming bulletins.

For more information about research at RRS and the bulletins, call John Tanaka at 307-766-5130 or email jtanaka@uwyo.edu.

Researchers needing a high-resolution version of the bulletins or figures within the bulletins should contact the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center at 307-837-2000 or sarec@uwyo.edu.

UW Extension bulletin shows ground speed affects desiccant application to alfalfa seed plants

Image of front cover of the bulletin Impacts of sprayer speed on herbicide coverage in desiccation of alfalfa for seed.The ground speed of a sprayer affects the coverage and volume of desiccants applied to alfalfa seed plants regardless of nozzle type, according to a new bulletin from the University of Wyoming Extension.

The information is detailed in “Impacts of Sprayer Speed on Herbicide Coverage in Desiccation of Alfalfa for Seed,” B-1312.

Timely and uniform desiccation of alfalfa seed plants is essential, said Jeremiah Vardiman, UW Extension educator based in Park County and one of the bulletin authors.

Many factors can affect uniform desiccation, including crop canopy, weather conditions, equipment and the active ingredient in a herbicide.

“Since alfalfa grown for seed typically uses contact herbicides for desiccation and the alfalfa plant canopy effects spray coverage, optimizing as much spray coverage as possible is vital to ensure a proper burn down of plants for seed harvest,” said Vardiman.

The bulletin is available for free download by going to uwyo.edu/uwe and clicking on the Find a Publication link and type the title or publication number in the search field. The publication is available in PDF, HTML or ePub formats.

For more information, contact Vardiman at 307-754-8836 or at jvardima@uwyo.edu.

Gillette Saturday Farmers’ Market named one of nation’s best

Vendors are set up under pop-up canopies, customers browse.
Local vendors, fresh food – including Flathead cherries and goat milk ice cream – and special activities are hallmarks of the Gillette Farmers’ Market.



The Gillette Saturday Farmers’ Market was named one of the best in the country through American Farmland Trust’s 9th annual Farmers Market Celebration.

“The Celebration encourages market customers, family farmers, community members – anyone who believes they’ve got the best farmers market in the country – to endorse their market in five categories,” said Susan Sink, vice president of development and external relations for American Farmland Trust.

The Gillette Saturday Farmers’ Market earned tenth in People’s Choice, Focus on Farmers, Healthy Food for All and Pillar of the Community and 11th in Champion for the Environment. Voting was through the website markets.farmland.org.

“Our volunteer-run market has grown so much since we started in 2010, and being named as one of the top ten means so much to our customers, volunteers, and vendors,” said Erin Galloway, co-market manager.

“There’s something for everyone at market,” said co-market manager Megan McManamen.  Examples are free cooking demonstrations, a SNAP incentive program, a customer loyalty program and kids’ activities. The summer market at the Gillette Tech Center runs every Saturday until mid October.

“While farmers markets have been growing in popularity, keeping family farmers on farmland remains a nationwide challenge,” Sink said. “Many family farmers are struggling to stay afloat and face pressure from development to sell their land. Farmers markets provide an opportunity for family farmers to sell directly to consumers and to help make a living on their land.”

Logo says Saturday Farmers' Market, Gillette, Wyoming and Live, Eat, Grow LocalUniversity of Wyoming Extension Master Gardeners of Campbell County are among those who help with the market. According to Campbell County Extension horticulture program coordinator Hannah Johnson, the Gillette Farmers’ Market promotes the development of a regional food system, supports local farmers, ranchers, producers, and artisans and makes high-quality food available to community residents.

“What you put on your fork matters” was the message behind American Farmland Trust’s 9th annual Farmers Market Celebration. The national nonprofit seeks to save farmland for the next generation.

For more information, contact Johnson at 307-682-7281 or HJH10@ccgov.net.