Sublette County Weed and Pest hosts cheatgrass update

Field of cheatgrassResource experts from Sublette County Weed and Pest and the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University are speakers at the cheatgrass education and research update in Pinedale Tuesday, April 3.

The free session is 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the district’s office at 12 S. Bench Rd., said Glenn Owings, UW Extension educator.

The meeting is open to anyone interested in learning more about local cheatgrass control efforts and emerging research, he said.

Speakers are:

* Julie Kraft, Sublette County Weed and Pest

* Clay Wood, University of Wyoming

* Dan Tekiela, UW Extension

* Shannon Clark, Colorado State University

Lunch is free for those who RSVP by March 29, but no RSVP is required if not attending lunch. RSVP to  Owings atgowings@uwyo.edu or call 307-367-4380.

Agricultural emergency response training meeting in Torrington

A meeting to train for and improve planning for agricultural emergencies in the Goshen County area is Thursday, March 29, in Torrington.

The free training is 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Goshen County 4-H Building at 7078 Fairgrounds Road. The program is a collaborative effort between the Goshen County emergency manager and University of Wyoming Extension, said Scott Cotton, extension educator and delegate to the Extension Disaster Education Network.

He said the training is focused toward agricultural producers, law enforcement, firefighters, public health officials, county commissioners, veterinarians and others related to agriculture or emergency management.

The meeting addresses blizzards, floods, wildfires, disease outbreaks, truck accidents and other incidents.

The program includes:

* Disaster issues for individual areas/counties.

* Livestock transportation response.

* Information from the emergency manager.

* Animal identification and diseases related to disasters.

* FEMA training on disease outbreaks at fairs and exhibitions.

The program is one of several this spring across Wyoming. The Wyoming Stock Growers Association and Wyoming Wool Growers Association are among groups supporting the meetings that look at agriculture in individual counties to develop better emergency mitigation efforts, said Cotton.

The seminar includes FEMA certified exercises for emergency responders and peace officer credit hours. Registration is requested by noon March 28. Go to https://www.eventbrite.com and type in Torrington, Wyoming, in the “City or location” search field to find the event.

Contact Cotton at 307-235-9400 or secotton@natronacounty-wy.gov for more information.

UW Extension offers team fitness, nutrition competition

            Individuals can form teams and compete against others across the country in the national extension program FitEx to improve fitness and nutrition.

Teams of four to eight ages 5 and up can register free on the FitEx website. Registration at www.fit-ex.org beginsMarch 26.

The team environment and online tracking helps participants achieve goals throughout the April 1-May 27 competition, said Laura Balis, University of Wyoming Extension nutrition and food safety educator.

Teams can set goals and track daily minutes of activities and intake of fruits and vegetables, said Balis. Weekly newsletters, feedback, competition for motivation and prizes for winning teams are part of the program.

Those wanting more information can go to the website or contact Balis at 307-332-2363 or at lbalis@uwyo.edu.

New publication invites you to explore the plant life of Thunder Basin

A profusion of bright pink flowers growing in a short tuft in gra
Tufted milkvetch, a native perennial of the Fabaceae family, scientific name: Astragalus spatulatus

A new checklist of Thunder Basin plant life is for anyone who wants to learn more about the wide-open landscapes where the Great Plains meet the sagebrush steppe.

Free from University of Wyoming Extension, Common Herbaceous Plants of the Thunder Basin Grasslands is available at bit.ly/UWEpubs.

The comprehensive plant list classifies plants according to forbs (flowering plants), shrubs, sub-shrubs, grasses and grass-likes (sedges and rushes). Listed for each is whether it is native or exotic, perennial (long-lived), biennial (two years) or annual, plus its family and scientific name.

For example, soapweed yucca is a native perennial of the Agavaceae family, whose scientific name is Yucca glauca. Woolypod milkvetch is another native perennial, this of the Fabaceae family, scientific name: Astragalus purshii.

Squirrelgrass, sleepygrass, winterfat, pricklypear and fuzzytongue penstemon are among the 195 species included.

According to the authors, the Thunder Basin grasslands in northeastern Wyoming are an ecotone where northern mixed grass prairie, short grass prairie and the sagebrush steppe come together. Ranging in elevation from 3,600 to 5,200 feet, the area is home to a rich array of plants and animals.

The new fact sheet provides a starting point for becoming familiar with the plants of the region’s uplands.

Common Herbaceous Plants of the Thunder Basin Grasslands is the third in a series from University of Wyoming Extension in partnership with the Thunder Basin Research Initiative, area ranchers and energy companies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service and the Thunder Basin Grasslands Prairie Ecosystem Association.

It is one of more than 600 how-to guides from UW Extension (see bit.ly/UWEpubs) that help extend skills in gardening, grazing, pruning, canning, cropping, habitat restoration and more. YouTube video series from UW Extension include From the Ground Up, Barnyards and Backyards and Exploring the Nature of Wyoming.

For more information on this publication, contact University of Wyoming Extension range specialist Derek Scasta at 307-766-2337 or jscasta@uwyo.edu.

 

UW meat judging team makes a comeback

team members and coach wearing white lab coats and yellow hard hats stand in front of hanging beef carcasses.
University of Wyoming meat judging team members at the National Western Meat Judging contest in Denver in January (left to right): Katie Hazlewood, Riverton; Erika Eckhardt, Sterling, Neb.; Alecia Ouellette, Carson City, Nev.; Haley Cole, Cheyenne; Cedar Radosevich, Manila, Utah; Zach Davis, Sebastopol, Calif.; Amanda Mills, Vernon, Vt.; Eli Worrall, Worland; coach Sierra Jepsen

The University of Wyoming meat judging team made a strong showing its first season under new coach Sierra Jepsen. The university last had a team in 2015.

The team placed second overall in specifications out of 17 teams at the Houston Stock Show Meat Judging Contest in Houston March 3. Katie Hazlewood of Riverton, Erika Eckhardt of Sterling, Neb., and Eli Worrall of Worland, placed 10th, 11th and 12th individually in specifications. Eckhardt was 9th in pork judging.

Specifications refer to the USDA institutional meat purchasing specifications that ensure consistency across the industry. Students memorize USDA specification rules for a variety of meat cuts, explained Jepsen. Competitors look over 10 cuts of meat and determine if they meet all specifications or if there are defects.

“It’s a pleasure working with this group of students because they all care deeply about improving their personal scores, as well as being good representatives for the university and state of Wyoming,” Jepsen said.

The team turned in its top performance at the Iowa State University Meat Evaluation Contest in Ames, Iowa, Feb. 10. They earned 4th overall out of 11 teams, third in specifications, lamb judging and beef judging and fourth in beef grading and reasons. Alecia Ouellette of Carson City, Nev., was 6th overall individual and 5th in beef judging. Worrall was 5th in specifications.

At the Fort Worth Stock Show in Fort Worth, Texas, Jan. 28, Wyoming placed 7th of 11 teams. The team was 5th high in pork judging and 6th high in lamb judging. Worrall placed 6th in pork judging. Zach Davis of Sebastopol, Calif., was 12th in placings and 13th in beef grading. Cedar Radosevich of Manila, Utah, was 16th in lamb judging.

At the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Jan. 14, the UW team earned 8th out of 14 teams and 6th in beef judging. Radosevich was 6th in placings, Ouellette 11th in beef grading and Hazlewood 17th in lamb judging.

The UW meat judging team will help with the 4-H and FFA state meat judging contests later this spring and resume competition in the fall.

Jepsen invites UW students to sign up for the fall course, Introduction to Meat Judging. “The course covers everything they need to know to become a competitive meat judge,” she said. “After completing it, they can join the team.”

For more information, contact Jepsen at 307-766-3100 or  sjepsen2@uwyo.edu.