University of Wyoming Extension News

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.

Endowment-funded extension projects focus less processed foods, creating 4-H program toward UW credit

Robin Schamber

Robin Schamber

Karla Case

Karla Case

Decreasing the amount of processed foods consumed and enabling 4-H’ers to earn University of Wyoming

credit for their years of animal science activities are projects stemming from an endowment created by a Wyoming foundation for use by University of Wyoming Extension.

The John P. Ellbogen Foundation endowment, when matched by the state, is expected to generate $30,000 a year for projects by educators to extend the vision of the foundation and UW across the state.

The two proposals were among six received and reviewed by a five-person committee representing the foundation and extension.

Extension director Glen Whipple called the two inaugural projects outstanding ideas.

“I can hardly wait to see them benefitting Wyoming youths and adults,” he said, and added extension personnel are excited about the endowment. “Looking to the future, it will help us to develop more innovative and dynamic extension education programs for Wyoming residents.”

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Wind River secretary receives UW Extension’s top award

Rhonda Bowers, secretary in the Wind River Reservation office of University of Wyoming Extension, received the Frances Freese Secretary of the Year Award last week during ESCAPE in Laramie.

Rhonda Bowers, secretary in the Wind River Reservation office of University of Wyoming Extension, received the Frances Freese Secretary of the Year Award last week during ESCAPE in Laramie.

Rhonda Bowers in the Wind River Reservation office of University of Wyoming Extension has received extension’s highest secretarial honor.

Bowers received the Frances Freese Secretary of the Year Award Oct. 1 during the annual Extension Secretary Conference – A Professional Event (ESCAPE) meeting in Laramie. Bowers joined UW Extension in 2002.

In the nomination, Bowers was recognized for her high degree of institutional knowledge, which staff members regularly call upon, and for being the go-to person in the community for extension.

“She responds to all requests regardless to the time of day or night and regardless of inconvenience,” wrote a nominator.

Bowers was acknowledged for her dedication to helping develop the youths in her area, for seeking opportunities to serve beyond what is expected and for taking on leadership roles to ensure the success of programs.

“With the ever-changing dynamics of extension, our award recipient has stood undaunted, well-connected and thoroughly responsive to our clientele,” said Ann Roberson, extension state office administrative associate, during the presentation.

The Frances Freese award recognizes extension secretaries for outstanding contributions and accomplishments and is presented each year during ESCAPE. Freese worked at the Wind River Indian Reservation extension office then moved to the Fremont County office, where she worked for 25 years.

UW Extension has offices in every county and the Wind River Reservation.

Residents invited to learn what UW Extension offers in Carbon County

An energy trailer demonstrating on-grid and off-grid solar, wind and geothermal approaches for stock watering, and home heating are among topics at the open house of the Carbon County office of University of Wyoming Extension.

The event is 4-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, at the Jeffrey Memorial Community Center, 315 W. Pine St., in Rawlins.   

 “We are trying to make Carbon County residents more aware of the extension system and the resources we offer to individuals, families and producers,” said extension educator Abby Perry, who serves southeast Wyoming.

More than a dozen UW specialists, area educators and county educators are providing information about sports nutrition, food safety and 4-H, and addressing topics such as eating well for less, integrated pest management, grazing management, irrigation and community and economic development.

            Perry, who specializes in rangeland economics and monitoring, said, “We also hope the community will walk away feeling like they have had the opportunity to share their interests and needs.”

            Bret Hess, director of the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station, and Doug Zalesky, director of the Laramie Research and Extension Center, will present current research and solicit input for future projects. 

            Milt Geiger, energy extension coordinator, uses the energy trailer to spark discussion about renewable energy and interactions between energy, environment and economy.

Cathy Craig is the 4-H and youth development educator in Carbon County, providing opportunities for youths to learn, connect with the community and gain leadership skills.

“The event is come-and-go and informal,” said Perry. Refreshments will be served.

UW Extension offers food preservation publications

food preservationUniversity of Wyoming Extension educators put the “can-do” in high-altitude home canning via food preservation publications and in-person expertise.
Their free publications, available online or in extension offices, offer tested recipes, safety guidelines and other resources for preserving autumn’s abundance.

The series covers jellies, fruit, meat, pickles, tomatoes, vegetables and wild berries. There’s even a recipe for dandelion jelly.

Nutrition and food safety (NFS) educators serve every county and the Wind River Reservation and provide guidance on high-altitude food preservation. They also test the dial-type gauges on pressure canners free of charge to ensure proper working order.

Wyoming’s higher altitudes mean atmospheric pressure is lower and boiling temperatures are lower. Extension guidelines include the increased processing for boiling-water canning and increased pressure for pressure canning, both tested for altitude. These adjustments are necessary for home canning anywhere in the state.

Extension publications also recommend using modern equipment and tested recipes.

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