Crook County 4-H educator receives UW Extension honor

Photograph of Sara Fleenor
Sara Fleenor

Increasing the depth and scope of Crook County 4-H and building the program through nontraditional ways has helped Sara Fleenor earn the University of Wyoming Extension’s Newer Employee Recognition Award.

Fleenor was recognized during the organization’s training conference Nov. 6-8 in Casper.

“Sara strives for excellence in her 4-H programming with a keen interest in developing leadership skills in youths,” said Mary Kay Wardlaw, associate director of UW Extension. “She is often behind the scenes making sure the youths are supported and successful.”

Nominators cited her work in providing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math lessons in local classrooms and in afterschool and summer recreation programs. She has also revitalized the Weston-Crook County 4-H Summer Program since joining UW Extension in 2012. The number of campers has grown from 15 to over 50 in 2017.

Fleenor is also credited for helping the success of the 307 Livestock Judging Camp in northeast Wyoming. The camp rotates between Weston and Crook counties year-to-year. The livestock judging series builds skills and increases participation in statewide contests by presenting scholarships and awards to the top 4-H members.

Colleagues also noted her fundraising efforts. She has grown the shooting sports program through grants and donations and has raised nearly $5,000 a year through community fund drives and competitive grant writing.

UW Extension’s livestock marketing specialist receives organization’s highest honor

Extension livestock marketing specialist Bridger Feuz provides a market outlook to those attending this year’s Wyoming-Utah Ag Days in Evanston.

Developing programs for ranchers focusing on increased production and efficiency and collaboration with peers are among reasons why a Uinta County University of Wyoming Extension educator has received the organization’s highest honor.

Bridger Feuz, based in Evanston, was presented the Jim DeBree Award at extension’s training conference Nov. 6-8 in Casper.

“Bridger Feuz is undoubtedly an exceptional extension educator who contributes significantly to the University of Wyoming’s statewide engagement mission,” said Kelly Crane, associate director of UW Extension.

“Bridger’s resounding success as an extension educator is attributable to his genuine obligation to listen and respond to the contemporary challenges facing Wyoming farmers, ranchers and community members.”

Feuz is extension’s livestock marketing specialist and involved in extension’s range initiative team. Programs he has developed include the Wyoming Master Cattleman Program and Ranch Management Institute. The multi-day workshops focus on topics such as assessing ranch marketing and financial analysis, partial budgeting and investment analysis tools, range management, genetics and livestock risk protection.

At the end of each production strategy session, producers work through examples using tools from earlier sessions.  Each strategy is analyzed for its potential from a goals/risk perspective and a financial “what if” analysis.

Feuz started the annual Wyoming-Utah Ag Days, first held in January in Evanston, two years ago.

Nominators also cited Feuz’s involvement in his local community, his willingness to draw in extension educators from surrounding states for his programs and his involvement in other extension professional areas, including nutrition and youth education.

The Jim DeBree Award is named in honor of the retired Wyoming extension administrator and given to those who demonstrate a high level of professionalism, performance and leadership within their program areas and communities.

Feuz joined UW Extension in 2004.

UW Extension offers Master Money Manager Coach course in Casper

Cole Ehmke

A training program in Casper to help community organizations assist their members and clients with basic money management is being offered through University of Wyoming Extension.

The Master Money Manager Coach program is Tuesday-Wednesday, Dec. 4-5, at the extension office in the Agricultural Resource and Learning Center, 2011 Fairgrounds Road.

Instructors will train participants how to work with individuals to improve their financial management skills, said UW Extension specialist Cole Ehmke, program coordinator.

The program is recommended for community organizations, nonprofits and agencies that wish to help their clients better understand and manage their financial lives, he said.

“It’s so important to be exposed to personal finance,” said Ehmke. “I look at communities in Wyoming, and the reality is that a lot of people could really benefit from having a coaching relationship with a trusted adviser to get themselves on track.”

The two-day training introduces coaches to the FDIC Money Smart curriculum, teaches basic adult learning principles and provides tools to use with clients to encourage adoption of positive money management behaviors.

Continue reading UW Extension offers Master Money Manager Coach course in Casper

UW livestock judging team achieves major success at American Royal

Picture of woman
Laurel Rigby

A University of Wyoming livestock judging team member won the individual competition among 136 contestants, and the team placed fourth among 29 universities at the American Royal Livestock Show in Kansas City Friday, Oct. 26.

Laurel Rigby of Ronan, Mont., won the individual competition by nine points. She placed first in swine, third in beef and in reasons and seventh in sheep/goats judging. Her individual reasons score of 379, which is over a 47 average on eight sets, is an all-time UW record at any contest.

“Laurel had an outstanding day,” said coach Caleb Boardman. “Typically, the top individual spots are decided by as little as one point, and to win by nine over second place and 18 over third place is almost unheard of at a national contest.”

Tyler Shaw of Kimball, Neb., was 12th overall individual, and 10th in swine and 13th in sheep/goats. Juan Gavette of Everson, Wash., was 12th in sheep/goats.

Picture of man
Tyler Shaw

The team was first in sheep/goats, sixth in swine, seventh in reasons and eighth in cattle.

The team also competed in three contests in four days earlier in October.

Juan Gavette

Rigby again led the team to a sixth-place finish at the Mid-American Classic in Hutchinson, Kan., by finishing fourth overall, fifth in swine, sixth in reasons and seventh in beef. Gavette was second in sheep/goats. The team competed the following day at the Tulsa State Fair in Tulsa, Okla., with the highlight being sixth in beef cattle. The team completed the weekend at the Texas State Fair in Dallas. Highlights included placing second in swine and fifth overall.

The team’s final competition for the national championship is at the North American International Livestock Expo Show in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 12.

Alfalfa weevil, black grass bug strategies focus of Powell, Sheridan workshops

Jeremiah Vardiman
Jeremiah Vardiman
Scott Schell

Alfalfa weevil and black grass bug integrated pest management (IPM) strategies and research are topics of free workshops in Powell and Sheridan in November.

The Powell workshop is 2-4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Powell Research and Extension Center,747 Road 9.  The Sheridan workshop is 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the Sheridan Research and Extension Center, 3401 Coffeen Ave.

Alfalfa weevil is the most economically damaging insect to alfalfa grown for hay in the Intermountain region, said Blake Hauptman, University of Wyoming Extension educator based in Crook County.

Knowing how to monitor them and when to start a management strategy before populations reach an economic threshold is critical, he said. Improper management can lead to ineffective pesticide applications and waste dollars.

Extension educator Jeremiah Vardiman, based in Park County, will present research and information on alfalfa weevil development and control.

Black grass bugs can cause significant damage to western range grasses, primarily to pastures reseeded to introduced wheatgrasses, said Hauptman.

UW Extension entomologist Scott Schell will discuss impacts and IPM strategies for the pest.

“Pastures with wheatgrass varieties are common in Wyoming and provide substantial amounts of forage for livestock, so it is critical to recognize if black grass bugs are causing considerable damage to your forage resource,” said Hauptman.

Contact Vardiman at 307-754-8836 or jvardima@uwyo.edu for information for the Powell workshop, and Hauptman at 307-283-1192 or bhauptma@uwyo.edu for the Sheridan workshop.