UW Extension’s new app connects users with Wyoming details

Wyoming visitors and residents can open a vault of more than 400 videos georeferenced to the state’s landmarks, counties, history, culture, energy, flora, fauna and more with an app from University of Wyoming Extension.

Explorewyo is available on iTunes and on the web at uwexplorewyo.org, said David Keto, UW Extension media producer.

The app taps into Exploring the Nature of Wyoming videos produced by extension’s rangeland team for a number of years, broadcast through weekly television public service announcements and posted on YouTube.

Educator Ashley Garrelts explains the explorewyo app

The videos were created to educate the general public about natural resources and natural resource management, said extension educator Ashley Garrelts, who heads the rangeland team. Members research topics, write scripts, scout for locations and serve as on-camera hosts. Videos are also used in educational events hosted by extension.

The team wanted to make the videos mobile accessible.

“And since many of the videos focus on specific points of interest in the state, we wanted to make the videos available on a map with georeferenced locations,” said Keto.

Videos can be viewed on the map, list or thumbnails. The map interface is the key feature, Keto said.

“The map view in particular makes it easy to see videos near your location and provides additional layers such as historic trails and mountain peaks to provide even more context for the videos,” he said.

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Visiting researcher hopes to uncork Sheridan scientist’s grape precision breeding expertise and cure Italy’s grape grower dilemma

Ph.D. student Cecilia Limera from Italy is learning grape precision breeding techniques developed by Sadanand Dhekney at the Sheridan Research and Extension Center.

Even if the visiting Ph.D. student’s efforts at the Sheridan Research and Extension Center succeed, she won’t get a taste of her own success.

Cecilia Limera from Italy is working six months in Sadanand Dhekney’s laboratory trying to learn, and then return to Europe, grape precision breeding techniques Dhekney has crafted through years of research.

Limera is learning how to initiate embryo cultures of different grape varieties via non-sexual means and modify them using existing DNA sequences from the grapes and their “wild” relatives. No new genetic material is added.

She’s learning precision breeding because European grape growers are caught between diseases, pests and regulations limiting chemical applications. Wine industry businesses and government regulators want other ways of continuing their varieties without using GMOs.

Limera rates the value of learning such techniques high.

“I’d say ‘10,’ or even priceless,” she said. “The people specialized in this are really few.”

Dhekney is one of the few, and his expertise may help researchers who face time and consumer preference pressures.

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Forage production, weed management in pastures Cody, Powell workshop focus

Park County educator Jeremiah Vardiman

“Horses, Pastures and You!” workshops are in Cody and Powell in June.

The hands-on workshops are 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, June 15, at the Boot and Bottle Club, 69 Road Xux, just off of the South Fork Road, near Cody, and the same times Thursday, June 22, at Heart Mountain Ranch, 1357 Rd. 22, near Powell.

The sessions will focus on how to estimate the amount of forage produced in a pasture, how to evaluate and select hay and calculating hay needs, and weed management in pastures, said Jeremiah Vardiman, University of Wyoming Extension educator.

UW Extension and the Park County Weed and Pest Control District are offering the sessions. For more information, contact Vardiman at 307-754-8836 or Mary McKinney at 307-254-1758 with Park County weed and pest.

UW Livestock Judging Team records first top-five national finish in 25 years

Members of the University of Wyoming Livestock Judging team after the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest awards banquet. From left, coach Caleb Boardman; Zane Mackey, Torrington; Connor Madsen, Wheatland; Ty Shockley, Wheatland; Paige Alyward, Dickens, Nebraska; Garret Barton, Poway, California; Kassi Renner, Lovell; Amanda Hartman, Denton, Montana; Kyle Cavey, Berthoud, Colorado; Lucas Stalcup, Ashland, Montana; Tyler Bauer, Fort Collins, Colorado; assistant coach Colby Hales.

Two University of Wyoming Livestock Judging Team members this spring recorded the highest-ever UW scores at national meets, and the team posted its first top-five national finish in 25 years.

Coach Caleb Boardman said Tyler Bauer, Fort Collins, Colo., and Zane Mackey, Torrington, posted the two scores at the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest in March, and UW placed fourth at the San Antonio Livestock Exposition Intercollegiate Livestock Show in February.

“The 2017 University of Wyoming Livestock Judging Team had a very successful spring season,” said Boardman. The team placed in the top 10 overall at each of the three national contests.The team had multiple practice contests, judging more than 100 classes before the Denver National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in January.

“All of the workouts and practice contests paid off after the team was awarded tenth overall at the NWSS,” he said.

In San Antonio:
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UW Extension offers self-paced drought planning course

Extension educator Ashley Garrelts visits with a producer last summer during the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center field day near Lingle..

Producers taking a free online rangeland drought planning course will exit with a drought plan tailored to their operations, and agency employees completing the course will be able to guide producers in creating a plan.

While the self-paced course is debuting during a wet period, it is never too early to plan for drought conditions, said Ashley Garrelts, University of Wyoming Extension educator who built the course.

The course is divided into six self-guided modules, including an introduction, soils, plants, livestock, management and economics.

“This course is designed to walk rangeland managers and livestock producers through how to plan for drought so that inevitably when it occurs they will be able to respond in a timely manner,” said Garrelts, based in Converse County and also serving Natrona and Niobrara counties.

To enroll, go to bit.ly/uwdroughtplanning. For more information, contact Garrelts at 307-358-2417 or at ashleyg@uwyo.edu.