Trump Ag Advisory Committee member keynotes annual Worland ag event

Columnist and blogger Trent Loos is the keynote speaker at the annual WESTI Ag Days in Worland.

A member of President Trump’s Ag Advisory Committee and columnist for the High Plains Journal publication is the keynote speaker to open WESTI Ag Days, Wednesday-Thursday, Feb. 14-15, in Worland.

Trent Loos will discuss bridging the gap between rural producers and urban consumers at 10 a.m. Wednesday, said Caitlin Youngquist, University of Wyoming Extension educator based in Washakie County.

University of Wyoming Extension’s Strategically and Technologically Informative (WESTI) Ag Days is at the Worland Community Center, 1200 Culbertson Ave.

“WESTI Ag Days started nearly 30 years ago and is a great partnership between UW Extension and local businesses,” said Youngquist. “We work hard to pull together a great set of educational programs, and the Washakie County Cow Belles always feed us well.”

Coffee and pastries are offered at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and 8:30 a.m. Thursday. Go to bit.ly/2018WESTIfor a complete schedule.

Youths and parents can attend a free dinner 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday to meet with professionals from various fields and explore college options. RSVPs are requested. Call 307-347-3431.

       The youth agriculture career event was added last year as part of the annual Big Horn Basin event.

“We are excited to have the resources for youth to visit with professionals in the ag industry, explore different college options, ask questions, win some fun prizes, all while having a fun experience,” said Amber Armajo, 4-H educator in Washakie County.

Local producers will talk following the Loos presentation Wednesday. Sarah Lungren of South Flat Land and Livestock will talk about her work communicating with consumers about GMOs in the sugar industry. Local rancher and blogger Carol Greet will talk about sharing the ranching story with a wide audience and why that’s important.

The Ten Sleep FFA Ag Issues Team will perform their skit at 11:30 a.m., and the Worland High School Ag Science projects are displayed during lunch Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday afternoon session topics include ag leasing and risk, rancher rules of thumb and do they work, alfalfa weevil control and impact of spray speed, cow nutrition and herd performance, alternative crops and recordkeeping and budget tools for the farm and ranch household.

Sessions Thursday start at 9 a.m. with crop disease updates followed by weather resources and climate tools, drought on rangelands, updates on Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service Administration programs, cover crops in the Big Horn Basin, and impacts of the 2018 tax law on farm and ranch households.

There are three workshops Thursday meeting from 1-5 p.m. that require pre-registration. The state veterinarian and the University of Wyoming research team will provide the status of brucellosis, private pesticide applicator training, and an introduction to food preservation and a water bath canning workshop. Call 307-347-3431 to register.

“Thanks to our generous local sponsors, this event is free and open to the public,” said Youngquist. “I encourage people to come check out some of our classes, visit with our sponsors, enjoy lunch and maybe win a door prize.”