UW hosts researcher known for international trade issue studies


Ian Sheldon

An agricultural economist known for his research on international trade issues pertaining to the food industry is speaking at the University of Wyoming Friday, April 21.

Professor Ian Sheldon will discuss his paper “Eco-labeling and the gains from agricultural and food trade: A Ricardian Approach” at 3:30 p.m. in Room 137 in the Agriculture Building, said Mariah Ehmke, associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

Sheldon is the Andersons Chair of Agricultural Marketing, Trade, and Policy in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics at The Ohio State University.

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UW Extension accepting applications for ranch management school

Dallas Mount, center, and participants during a prior ranch practicum.

The longest-running and most successful ranch management school in the region is accepting applications for 2017, said the University of Wyoming Extension educator who helped develop the program.

The High Plains Ranch Practicum is an in-depth ranch management program hosted by UW Extension and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.

The course begins in June and ends in November, combining case studies and hands-on applications to bring concepts and principles to life, said UW Extension educator Dallas Mount.

“Don’t expect to be lectured to,” he said. “If the ranch practicum school doesn’t make a significant difference in the bottom line of your ranch business and/or your quality of life, then we failed. Our goal is to help you move your business to the next level.”

Dates are June 28-29, Aug. 23-24, Sept. 20-21 and Nov. 1-2. The school is based at Laramie County Community College with outside activities and ranch tours.
Four areas are emphasized: range and forage management, nutrition and reproduction, financial management and family and employee working relationships.

Most ranchers are great at the production part of the business, said Mount, excelling at raising cattle, putting up hay and keeping the ranch running.

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UW Extension offers online GMO information course

Jeremiah Vardiman

Issues surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMO) will be examined during a six-week online course through University of Wyoming Extension.

The weekly sessions beginning Monday, May 22, are meant to divide fact from fiction about biotechnology, said Jeremiah Vardiman, UW Extension educator who is leading the course.

“This online course focuses on educating professionals in the health and nutrition fields and any other inquisitive mind on the main topics that are discussed or brought up about GMOs,” he said. “Participants will gain practical knowledge on the GMO topic, which will aid in education and conversations with clientele.”

Registration and more information is at bit.ly/gmocourse. Those taking the classes can access the course starting May 11, with materials available to participants until June 30.

Vardiman said he hears from community members and extension educators that GMOs are a common conversation topic and say they don’t always have the right answers or information.

“I also hear from local agricultural producers they want the public to be more educated in the topic,” he said.

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Wyoming honors children of military parents



Brittany Johnson



Mix Army, Coast Guard, Air Force, Marine and Navy personnel in a room and you’ll see purple.

That color – from Army green, Marine red, and Coast Guard, Air Force and Navy blue – celebrates Purple Up Day April 15 and recognizes children of military parents.

The event is part of Month of the Military Child, said Brittany Johnson, University of Wyoming Extension 4-H military educator based in Laramie County.

“The nationwide effort recognizes and honors the sacrifices military children make in supporting their loved ones who serve,” she said. “It is an opportunity for the public to acknowledge and applaud military youths for the daily sacrifices they make and the challenges they overcome.”

Gov. Matt Mead signed the proclamation last week in Cheyenne declaring April the Month of the Military Child, Johnson said.

She said more information about Month of the Military Child and the extension-military partnership is at http://4-hmilitarypartnerships.org.

To find out about events in your community, contact a local county extension office, a list available at www.uwyo.edu/uwe, or contact WYNG Child and Youth Services at 307-772-5211.

UW weed scientist’s study finds herbicide chronic toxicity rise slight

Andrew Kniss

A University of Wyoming weed scientist frustrated with the noise surrounding GMO and glyphosate use analyzed data to see for himself if biotech adoption has had a negative or positive effect on herbicide use.

Andrew Kniss specifically looked at chronic toxicity – interaction with the chemicals on a regular basis for many years – of herbicides used in five different crops grown in the U.S. “Long-term trends in the intensity and relative toxicity of herbicide use” was published today in the journal Nature Communications (www.nature.com/ncomms). Click on the All Articles link at the bottom of the page for article listings.

The study is of most relevance to applicator safety, but information also sheds light on herbicide and GMO (genetically modified organism) use.

“The most important thing to take away is that in most cases we haven’t seen a huge increase in the toxicity of herbicides we are using,” said Kniss, an associate professor in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

There has either been a dramatic decrease in toxicity, or in some cases, a slight increase, he said.

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