University of Wyoming Extension News

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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Annual Ag Day Barbecue helps raise money for student groups

Serving at last year's annual barbecue.

Serving at last year’s annual barbecue.

The 33rd annual Ag Day Barbecue benefitting College of Agriculture and Natural Resources student organizations is Saturday, Sept. 26, during Ag Appreciation Weekend at the University of Wyoming.
Students are serving 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. under the Cowboy Joe Club tent inside the Wyoming Indoor Practice Facility at the southwest corner of the Fan Fest area. Prices are $12 for adults, $5 for children 6-12 and free for ages 5 and under.
More than 700 plates were served last year with an estimated $5,000 raised to benefit student organizations such as the Block and Bridle Club, Pre-vet Club, Range Club and the Student Dietetic Association.

Families and others can also attend the Wyoming vs. New Mexico football game as an Ag Appreciation group. Adults are $32 and children 3-12 are $16. Tickets are automatically assigned in section G, with no choice of individual seats. Tickets may be purchased at
Kickoff is 1 p.m. at War Memorial Stadium.

UW scientists want to develop bloodstream bacterial drones to kill tumors

Professor Mark Gomelsky and his team are developing a method to counter a cancer tumor's ability to fool immune cells and deliver programmable nonpathogenic bacteria directly to the tumor. (UW Photo Services)

Professor Mark Gomelsky and his team are developing a method to counter a cancer tumor’s ability to fool immune cells and deliver programmable nonpathogenic bacteria directly to the tumor. (UW Photo Services)

Talk of building smart bombs, counterintelligence and infrared light-guided delivery systems may have raised a curious eyebrow from anyone walking by the open conference room door on the sixth floor of the University of Wyoming building.

A peek at those gathered at the table in the College of Agriculture Building may (or may not) have disarmed any alarm: bearded molecular biologist Mark Gomelsky and clean-shaven immunologist Jason Gigley from UW and demure bacteria-engineering expert Jill Zeilstra-Ryalls from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

They were explaining their strategy: release special forces carrying programmed devices to infiltrate deep into an enemy’s territory, counter enemy propaganda, and then, using infrared light, trigger detonation without harming the surrounding population.

Gomelsky and members of his interdisciplinary team – that also includes UW molecular biologist Anya Lyuksyutova – said the war on cancer will be won, and they want to use bacteria and the body’s own immune system to do it.

It’s not science fiction: it’s science.

“Humankind is probably for the first time at the edge of actually curing most cancers,” said Gomelsky. “I think this will happen in our lifetime. That is a bold statement. While most people don’t realize it, this is going to happen, and our own immune systems will be the key.”

They want to use what they call bacterial drones, or bactodrones, as cancer-targeting, remotely controlled weapons, in contrast to chemotherapy and radiation – the shotgun approach, said Gomelsky.

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Laramie fiber festival at research site also celebrates sheep industry contributions to Wyoming

Wyoming still produces wool! Wool show superintendent Tracy Dilts of Douglas and judge Mike Monell inspect fleeces submitted by Wyoming residents for competition at the Wyoming State Fair and Rodeo.

Wyoming still produces wool! Wool show superintendent Tracy Dilts of Douglas and judge Mike Monell inspect fleeces submitted by Wyoming residents for competition at the Wyoming State Fair and Rodeo.

Fiber craft, craftspeople and sheep will be celebrated with workshops and demonstrations during the WyoFiber Live! Festival in Laramie.

            Events are Friday through Sunday, Sept. 18-20, at the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site (WTP), according to Debbie Gorski of the Wyoming Women’s Business Center (WWBC), a festival co-sponsor.

            Festival information is at

            The territorial prison grounds were selected for the festival because of the site’s history with sheep, said Deborah Amend, WTP site superintendent.

            Prisoners were transferred in 1902 out of the Laramie Prison to the new prison in Rawlins, and the University of Wyoming’s College of Agriculture Experiment Station moved onto the grounds in 1903. Its studies included sheep research.

             “For almost 86 years, the University of Wyoming conducted numerous scientific research studies on genetics and breeding healthier sheep,” said Amend. “And also a wool laboratory to teach, gather and distribute research findings on how to achieve cleaner, thicker, and better quality wool. Sheep were a huge part of this historic site’s history.”

            WyoFiber festival participants this year can recreate, reinvent and redesign their old woolen sweaters, jackets, vests and scarves, work with six Wyoming-sourced wool fibers and learn wool types characteristics, carding and spinning, and work with fibers from a variety of animals.

             Other demonstrations and sessions include spinning, felting, sewing, broom making, tatting, dyeing and knitting. University of Wyoming Extension educators will give presentations on raising fiber animals and niche marketing. Continue reading