University of Wyoming Extension News

UW Extension state fair activities range from rumen reaching to iPad giveaways

Swine competition at the 2014 state fair.

4-H’ers look to impress the judge during swine showmanship competition at the 2014 state fair.

Those attending the Wyoming State Fair and Rodeo can reach into a cow’s rumen – if they have a mind to – and learn about digestion of hay and grain, take home a custom wildflower mix and enter a social media contest with a chance to win an iPad mini.

University of Wyoming Extension educators plan these and other hands-on activities for youths and adults Monday through Sunday, Aug. 10-16, in Douglas. An activity and demonstration schedule is at http://bit.ly/at2015statefair.

Activities are at booths or tents on the midway, in the Wyoming Livestock Roundup tent and in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources exhibit in the Peabody Energy Building.

A cannulated cow proved popular even though it was at last year’s state fair only one day, said extension educator Chance Marshall. A surgically fitted cannula is a porthole-like device allowing access to the rumen of a cow

“She was a big hit,” said Marshall. “Passersby were able to stop and reach into her rumen, feel around and learn how digestion of hay and grain works,” he said.

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UW Extension educator receives national achievement honor

UW Extension educator Mae Smith describes different plant parts to youths attending a recent  resource education camp.

UW Extension educator Mae Smith describes different plant parts to youths attending a recent resource education camp.

A University of Wyoming Extension educator serving the Big Horn Basin and Wind River Reservation has received the Achievement Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.

Rangeland resources educator Mae Smith, based in Greybull, received the award during the association’s annual meeting July 12-16 in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Smith joined UW Extension in 2011, and said her favorite teaching opportunities are filming the “Exploring the Nature of Wyoming” educational videos, identifying plants in the field and organizing the Annie’s Project series for women in agriculture.

Smith is also coordinator for the national award-winning Barnyards & Backyards magazine. The magazine addresses resource management issues faced by Wyoming small-acreage owners. Smith has been an active member of the Society for Range Management for 10 years, serving on national committees and planning the Wyoming youth camp.

Smith serves Big Horn, Fremont, Hot Springs, Park, and Washakie counties and the Wind River Reservation.

U.S., French predator compensation policy study top research story

Associate Professor Ben Rashford in wolf habitat in the French Alps.

Associate Professor Ben Rashford in wolf habitat in the French Alps.

Scientists detailing predator policies in the United States and France was voted the top article in “Reflections,” the research magazine of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming.

How clustering development in the wildland urban interface could potentially dramatically lower firefighting costs was voted top student story. An anonymous review team at the university selected the top stories.

“Reflections” was published this month and will be available at the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station based in the college, research and extension centers at Lingle, Laramie, Powell and Sheridan, at UW Extension offices and at college of agriculture-related venues. An online version with accompanying videos is at http://bit.ly/uwreflections2015.

There are about 300 wolves in Wyoming and about 250 in France, but the two nations’ predator compensation approaches and policies are different, explained authors associate professor Benjamin Rashford, senior research scientist Thomas Foulke, professor David Taylor, and Jordan Steele, former graduate student, all in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

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Douglas workshop tackles reclamation plans on private, public lands

Stahl Pete

Pete Stahl

A workshop addressing the soil, water and vegetation components and the monitoring requirements of a reclamation plan is Wednesday, July 22, at the Douglas campus of Eastern Wyoming College, 203 N. 6th St.

Presentations are relevant to public and private land, organizers said.

Online registration is requested by Monday, July 20, at http://bit.ly/douglasworkshop, while walk-in registration is still welcome the morning of the workshop, beginning at 8:30. Presentations are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The $20 fee includes lunch.

“We’ve had great responses to our workshops,” said Pete Stahl, Wyoming Reclamation and Restoration Center director and professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at the University of Wyoming. 

The WRRC is hosting the sessions.

“This workshop should provide practitioners and all involved in land reclamation with the tools and information to develop a reclamation plan,” said Stahl.

Presenters are from the energy industry, Bureau of Land Management, UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and private consulting firms.

For more information, contact Calvin Strom or Kristina Hufford at 307-766-5432 or wrrc@uwyo.edu

Annual program logs 20th year teaching youths natural resource skills

Elizabeth Martinez of Worland and other youths and adults puts their skills to the test following an afternoon of plant identification and plant anatomy during  Wyoming Resource Education Days at the Uinta County Youth Camp.

Elizabeth Martinez of Worland and other youths and adults put their skills to the test following an afternoon of plant identification and plant anatomy instruction during Wyoming Resource Education Days at the Uinta County Youth Camp south of Mountain View.

Rancher Kelly Guild, sitting on the tailgate of his pickup, was getting ready to answer the question why he was so willing to open up Guild Ranch rangelands near Fort Bridger to youths attending the week-long Wyoming Resource Education Days (WyRED).

Barbed wire, old posts and other items you’d expect to find in the back of a ranch pickup lie in the bed behind him.

The 30-or-so youths and adults last week were trodding, prodding and poking plant life and soil on the gentle slope up from the dirt road.

“First of all, it’s dealing with youth,” he said, his young dog content and near. “Anytime, it doesn’t matter if it’s dealing with WyRED or whatever, I think it’s very important to educate our young people. And second, I think we need to get the best minds we can back into agriculture. If they’re willing to participate in it, I’m sure willing to help them anyway I can.”

This was the 20th year of the program and the second time at the Uinta County Youth Camp (year 15). The annual program changes location each year.

Youths and adults had climbed into a Lyman Public School bus during morning cool at the high-elevation camp 20 miles or so south of Mountain View to start a day of tours, plant identification and soil profiling.

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