University of Wyoming Extension News

Wyoming State 4-H Foundation awards $69,000 to state’s youths

4-H logoMore than $33,000 in new scholarships has been awarded to Wyoming 4-H’ers by the Wyoming State 4-H Foundation.

In addition, foundation director Steve Mack said past Ella E. Schloredt scholarship recipients with a grade point average of at least 3.0 are eligible to continue receiving the scholarship for up to four years. Fifteen continuing scholarships were awarded, ranging from $1,750 to $2,200 for the fall 2016 academic year.

In total, 4-H youths attending the University of Wyoming or a Wyoming community college were awarded over $69,000 in scholarships for the coming school year, said Mack.

The Wyoming State 4-H Foundation over the past 20 years has given between $45,000 and $69,000 annually to 4-H-ers for college scholarships.

“This total will be over $1,000,000 in just the past 20 years,” said Mack.

The ability to provide for a family, donate within a community and contribute to society at large is enhanced when higher levels of education are achieved, said Johnathan Despain, Wyoming 4-H Program director.

“If 4-H can assist in reducing barriers that may preclude youths from getting education or engaging in learning, then we try to do our part,” he said.

Whether $300 or $1,750, a few hundred dollars can be the difference between being able to get an education or not, Despain said.

“Tuition is the bulk of the cost of an education, but housing, food, books and required fees and equipment tend to be breaking points for students who are tight financially,” he said. “Three hundred dollars can pay a month’s worth of food or a third of the cost for books for a semester. Every piece supports the opportunities.”

Scholarships and first-time recipients by county are:

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Cheyenne conference illustrates organic certification, production systems

Jay Norton, University of Wyoming Extension soils specialist, is one of the organizers of the High Plains Organic Farming Conference in Cheyenne.

Jay Norton, University of Wyoming Extension soils specialist, is one of the organizers of the High Plains Organic Farming Conference in Cheyenne.

Production in the High Plains is difficult and margins are slim, but raising certified organic crops could increase profit margins, according to the University of Wyoming Extension soils specialist who helped organize the February High Plains Organic Farming Conference in Cheyenne.

The conference is Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 23-24, at Laramie County Community College, 1400 E. College Dr., said Jay Norton, UW Extension specialist.

Registration and agenda information is at

In response to audience suggestions from last year, this year’s conference features presentations by six producers from Wyoming and Colorado talking about their production systems, cover crops, marketing, pest control and other topics, said Norton.

The conference targets dryland crop, irrigated crop and forage and livestock producers, and focuses on crop, soil, pest and livestock management, marketing and USDA National Organic Program updates.

“Organic production is definitely not for everyone, and the conference does not emphasize ideological reasons for going organic,” said Norton, an associate professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

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UW Extension publications recommend best shrubs, trees for Wyoming

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 9.12.43 AM ShrubsPublications offering information on the best shrubs and trees for Wyoming are available from University of Wyoming Extension. “Landscaping: Recommended Trees for Wyoming”, B-1090R, and “Landscaping: Recommended Shrubs for Wyoming”, B-1108R, have been revised by extension horticulture specialist Karen Panter and state Master Gardener coordinator Chris Hilgert.

The scientific name, common name, altitude limits, USDA zone, height, width, sun exposure and comments about 52 shrubs and 51 trees are in the separate publications. Proper site selection, purchasing healthy shrubs and trees, site preparation, planting and maintenance are described.

The publications are free and available in PDFs or at their respective websites. Go to and click the Publications link on the left-hand side. Enter the publication numbers to access each bulletin. Clicking on the title provides access to the PDF and website URLs.

UW scientist’s cellular studies using frog eggs has cancer connection

Assistant Professor Dan Levy uses frog eggs to study how the basic mechanisms in a cell control the size of the nucleus.

Assistant Professor Dan Levy uses frog eggs to study how the basic mechanisms in a cell control the size of the nucleus.

A smiling and very green Kermit looking down from a wall portrait seems to happily give a thumbs – or flipper – up to one of University of Wyoming’s self-described frog guys trying to unravel the mysteries of what in the world regulates cell nucleus size and its cancer implications.

Molecular biologist Dan Levy and his collaborators, using frog eggs, found the concentration of particular proteins – the nuclear lamin – appears to play a part in controlling the size of the cell nucleus. His laboratory is one of a few on campus using frog eggs to untangle cell secrets.

Turns out, there is an important cancer connection. The nucleus of a cancer cell becomes enlarged, and the size is even used to determine the stage of cancer, he said. If the basic proteins important for regulating nucleus size are understood, scientists might be able to apply that to nuclear size changes in cancer and even use it diagnostically or perhaps even in a new treatment approach, he noted.

“If we can make the nucleus size small in cancer cells, that might be a way to treat those cancers,” said Levy, in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The research results were in the Nov. 13 edition of The Journal of Biological Chemistry, published by the American Society For Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Anyone wandering into a cell would pass the outer nuclear membrane first, then the inner nuclear membrane. Looking back, the lattice-like nuclear lamina composed of lamins would be seen sitting against the inner nuclear membrane and, like 2 x 4s in a house, provides shape and support. Electron microscope images show the lattice looking like a volleyball net or a woven basket with horizontal and vertical reeds.

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UW Extension offers resources to help property owners contend with wildfire

thayer_fire_north_of_harrisonInformation that could help landowners and homeowners before, during and after wildfires is available from the University of Wyoming Extension.

“Dry and windy conditions around the state have had many of us thinking about wildfire, whether we live in forested or grass lands,” said Jennifer Thompson, small-acreage issue team coordinator with UW Extension. “If this is on your mind, you may want to review your wildfire damage prevention and evacuation plans. We have some resources that can help get you started making a plan or help you review your current plan.”

Information at includes a 48-page guide “Living with Wildfire in Wyoming” that can be viewed or downloaded. Its individual stories are also available for viewing or download. Topics include creating defensible space around a property, animal evacuation plans, homeowner or business insurance checkup, firewise landscaping, reducing wildfire risks and more.

Hardcopy versions are in many local UW Extension offices around the state. Extension has offices in every county and the Wind River Reservation.

For more information, contact Thompson at 307-745-3698 or UW Extension offices.