Natrona County extension educator recognized with distinguished service honor

Picture of man
Scott Cotton

A Natrona County University of Wyoming Extension educator has received a Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.

Scott Cotton received the recognition during the group’s conference July 29-Aug. 2 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Cotton, an agriculture and horticulture educator, joined UW Extension in 2014. Based in Natrona County, he also serves Converse and Niobrara counties. The DSA recognizes excellence in the field of professional extension for members with more than 10 years of service. Cotton had begun his career at UW and went on to positions with Colorado State University Extension and the University of Nebraska.

NACAA is focused toward extension educators and other professionals who work in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and natural resources, 4-H youth development, community development, administration, aquaculture and Sea Grant and related disciplines.

Extension bulletin recommends best forage mixes for Wyoming

            Four years of research at the Sheridan Research and Extension Center have resulted in recommended forage mixes for growing in Wyoming.

University of Wyoming Extension forage specialist Anowar Islam found the best forage is a 50-50 percent mixture of meadow bromegrass with alfalfa, a 50-25-25 percent mixture of meadow bromegrass, alfalfa, and birdsfoot trefoil, and a 70-30 percent mixture of meadow bromegrass with alfalfa.

The details are in Meadow Bromegrass – Legume Mixtures for Diversified and Profitable Hay Production in Wyoming, B-1327.

The bulletin is available for free viewing and download by going to and clicking on the “Find a Publication” link. Type the title or number in the search field. The publication is available in pdf, HTML or ePub formats.

UW Extension communications office wins national honors

David Keto

Video and podcasting products from the University of Wyoming Extension earned first-place national awards, and print publications received silver and bronze honors in the 2018 Association for Communication Excellence critique and awards program.

Members of the Office of Communications and Technology were recognized during the organization’s annual conference Aug. 3-8 in Scottsdale, Ariz. ACE members include communication teams and faculty members in colleges of agriculture and extension offices across the nation’s land-grant universities and agricultural-related organizations and associations.

“It’s exciting to see the diverse work we do – video, podcasts, writing, and design – be recognized for excellence among entries from land-grant institutions across the nation,” said Tana Stith, office manager and graphic designer. “I’m proud to be part of such a hardworking, talented, amazing team.”

Video producer David Keto received two gold awards. The first was in the technology education category for the iDevice Mobile Video Production Guide, available at The second was in the videoproduction informational or non-credit educational category for “Pollinator Paradise:  Southeast Wyoming Pollinator Habitat Tour,” available at

Lindsay Hadfield

Extension and Cent$ible Nutrition Program video producer Lindsay Hadfield received the overall Outstanding Professional Skill Award and gold in electronic media, audio for the podcast episode “Voices on the Range: Tom Wright” at

Stith and writer-editors Steve Miller and Chavawn Kelley and graphic designer Tanya Engel were recognized for printed publications.

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New short course from UW Extension highlights credit practices, pitfalls

            Credit score information and learning ways to build credit are part of a free, self-paced online course offered through University of Wyoming Extension.

“Personal Financial Literacy: Understanding and Avoiding Credit Pitfalls” also offers why credit scores should be checked. The online course takes about 20-30 minutes and offers tips for keeping credit scores high enough to qualify for lower interest loans.

A hundred points difference to a credit score could mean the difference between thousands of dollars in savings or thousands in extra expense, according to course information.  Yet half of Americans, according to CNN Money, haven’t checked their credit report in more than six months.

“Understanding credit can have a huge impact as couples embark upon marriage, friends start a business partnership or parents co-sign school loans,” said Mary Martin, community development educator for UW Extension and author of the course.

The online course provides tips for using credit accounts to build, rather than damage, credit scores.

“Many people are surprised to learn that simply paying off their credit card balances each month does not ensure a good credit score,” said Martin. “In fact, a credit score can be negatively impacted by taking advantage of discounted purchase prices if you open a store-sponsored credit card.”

Martin suggested taking time to learn more about your credit history.

“Because credit cards are simple to use and readily available, most people simply roll with the monthly payment cycle without focusing on details and risks,” she said.

Martin offered a lesson she learned years ago when purchasing a new car.

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