Southeast Wyoming extension educator receives national achievement honor

Brian Sebade

A University of Wyoming Extension educator serving southeast Wyoming has received recognition for helping provide Wyoming residents agricultural and horticultural information.

Brian Sebade, based in Albany County, recently received the 2017 Achievement Award from the National Association of County Agriculture Agents (NACAA) during its annual conference Salt Lake City. Sebade also serves Carbon, Goshen, Laramie and Platte counties.

Only educators with 10 years or less of service in cooperative extension and exhibiting excellence in the field of extension education are eligible, according to the NACAA.

Sebade has worked in the northeastern and southeastern corners of Wyoming. Projects have included Master Gardeners, private pesticide applicator training, native plant identification and ecology, grazing management, invasive species ecology and management, small-acre outreach and horticulture for cold climates.

Sebade has also published many outreach articles for homeowners, small-acre landowners and agricultural producers in the Cowboy State, said the NACAA.

Sebade was an extension educator based in Crook County and served northeastern Wyoming for four years before transferring to Albany County in 2015 to work with residents in southeastern counties.

Sebade received his bachelor’s degree in 2008 and master’s degree in 2010 in rangeland ecology and watershed management, both from UW.

University of Wyoming assistant professor dies in motorcycle crash

Gustavo Sbatella responds to a question during the research poster session at the Powell Research and Extension Center field day July 13.

Colleagues and friends at the University of Wyoming are reacting to the death Wednesday evening of a fellow scientist killed in a motorcycle accident in Nevada.

Gustavo Sbatella of Powell died in the crash near Valley of Fire State Park in southeastern Nevada, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol, which said heavy rain contributed to the crash.

Sbatella, 52, was an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and was based at the Powell Research and Extension Center.

“We lost an indispensable faculty member,” said Jim Heitholt, head of the department. “He had a savvy for conducting research in weed science, and we as his colleagues became better scientists because of him.”

The dean of the college echoed the sentiment.

“Gustavo was an accomplished scientist, a wonderful human being and a friend. We will miss him,” said Frank Galey.
Sbatella was the extension irrigated crop and weed specialist and conducted research in the Big Horn Basin.

“Gustavo provided crop producers in northwest Wyoming and beyond with answers to their weed control issues and other production challenges,” said Heitholt. “Our crop producers loved him as much as we did.”

Sbatella also taught courses and mentored graduate students. He cared deeply about his students and making sure they were successful, said Heitholt.

“Students who worked in his program or had taken his classes not only learned the basics of how weeds grew, but also the practical aspects of how to employ environmentally sound control measures,” he said.

Continue reading University of Wyoming assistant professor dies in motorcycle crash

Financial opportunities still available as eclipse draws near, says extension specialist

The days until the sun and moon do their dramatic dance across Wyoming are lessening but that doesn’t mean economic opportunities are dwindling for Cowboy State residents, according to the agricultural entrepreneurship specialist with University of Wyoming Extension.

“This is a rare economic opportunity even if you aren’t in the hospitality or tourism industry,” said Cole Ehmke.

The moon will pass directly in front of the sun Monday, Aug. 21, providing a two-minute blackout in a 70-mile wide beltline from Oregon to South Carolina. Ehmke said the crowds provide financial opportunities for anyone in prime viewing territories.

“If you’re in the band of totality or near a travel route, I’d sit everyone down and have a talk about what you or your business could do, then I’d get moving since there isn’t much time left to prepare,” said Ehmke.

Those opportunities could be:
*Providing places to stay prior to Aug. 21, including camper and tent spaces as well as housing.
*Providing places to watch the eclipse for those arriving Aug. 21.
*Providing services to travelers, such as bottled water and snacks.
*Selling solar eclipse souvenirs, such as t-shirts, provided they could be made in time.
*Organizing anything that could benefit from increased road traffic, including farm stands, garage sales and recreational offerings.

Ehmke said potential eclipse viewers have heard negative publicity about sold-out hotels and potential traffic jams.

Continue reading Financial opportunities still available as eclipse draws near, says extension specialist

UW Extension presents two canning workshops in Powell


Extension nutrition and food safety educator Phyllis Lewis, right, and educator Tina Russell with various canning equipment earlier this year.

Pressure and water bath canning workshops are in August at the Park County Fairgrounds in Powell, presented by the University of Wyoming Extension.

The sessions are 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10, and 8:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 11, said Phyllis Lewis, UW Extension nutrition and food safety educator.

The class is limited to 15 people, and there is a $10 fee to cover materials, she said.

For more information or to pre-register, contact Rachel Olsen at the Park County extension office in Powell at 307-754-8836 or by 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4.

Sheep specialist joins University of Wyoming animal science department

Whit Stewart discusses an ultrasound image interpretation with a student.

A sheep specialist has joined the University of Wyoming and will provide information and programming through UW Extension.

Whit Stewart began Monday in the Department of Animal Science, said Mike Day, head of the department.

Stewart previously worked as the Montana State University Extension sheep specialist.

“We’re excited to welcome Whit to our team” said Day.

Stewart will conduct research and teach senior-level sheep production and management courses in addition to his extension responsibilities.

Stewart graduated from Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., with a master’s degree in animal science after receiving a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg, Idaho.

He then worked 2010-2011 as a UW Extension educator in Campbell County before leaving to earn his Ph.D. in a joint program with Texas A&M AgriLife Research and New Mexico State University.
Hiring a sheep specialist was important because the state’s sheep industry is among the top four in the nation in almost every category.

“We have a progressive and involved sheep industry, and the industry contributes to our overall agricultural output,” said Day to the Wyoming Livestock Roundup earlier this year. “Sheep production is key to Wyoming’s agriculture industry.”