University of Wyoming Extension News

UW Extension program, Casper College class boost elementary students’ nutrition during spring break

Casper College student Hannah Mica helps other students make and put cocoa mix into small bags for Casper elementary students. The Cent$ible Nutrition Program, Casper College, and Food for Thought in Casper collaborated on the project.

Casper College student Hannah Mica helps other students make and put cocoa mix into small bags for Casper elementary students. The Cent$ible Nutrition Program, Casper College, and Food for Thought in Casper collaborated on the project.

Cent$ible Nutrition Program educator Julie Dwyer, left, answers a question from Cassey Wright while preparing the shelf stable cocoa mix.

Cent$ible Nutrition Program educator Julie Dwyer, left, answers a question from Cassey Wright while preparing the shelf stable cocoa mix.

This class project should give Casper College students a warm feeling and a hot, nutritious drink for more than 650 Natrona County elementary students during their spring break.

Casper College students, college staff and volunteers took turns earlier this month in an assembly line putting together a shelf-stable cocoa mix recipe from the University of Wyoming Extension Cent$ible Nutrition Program (CNP) cookbook.

The Casper nonprofit Wyoming Food for Thought (WFFT) is to deliver the bags to various Natrona County Title 1 schools before the district’s spring break (March 28-April 1). Someone at each school (not all schools participate) decides how many students need food bags and lets WFFT know the number. Bags will be anonymously stowed in elementary students’ backpacks by school personnel while students are away at lunch.

Volunteers scooped cocoa, sugar and, most important, instant milk into large, clear plastic containers from which the mix was bagged.

Cocoa is not a usual food bag item WFFT provides during its weekly Friday deliveries to schools, but CNP educators identified calcium as a vital ingredient missing in the Friday food bags, so a mix was made with instant milk.

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Casper meeting offers Cole Creek area landowners fire recovery information

Scott Cotton

Scott Cotton

A post-fire landscape recovery seminar in Casper hosted by University of Wyoming Extension provides resources for those affected by the Cole Creek Fire in early October.

The event is 5-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, at the Agricultural Resource and Learning Center, 2011 Fairgrounds Rd.

There is no cost, but pre-registration at 307-235-9400 is required by Nov. 18. Refreshments will be served.

Land management experts will make brief presentations and answer questions about programs and resources for wildfire recovery, said Scott Cotton, UW Extension educator in Natrona County and who is the Wyoming contact for the national Extension Disaster Education Network.

His experience includes seven community post-fire incidents, and he said recovery requires sound information and strong community relations.

Cotton said landowner questions have included how to graze after a fire, how soon is grass going to return, what can be planted to keep fire from coming up to a house and what cost-share might be available. Continue reading

Casper, Lander workshops offer farmers market, local food grant writing training

4-translanting-tomatoes-with-the-youthHands-on training for writing grants to promote farmers markets, local food programs and raising specialty crops is offered during April workshops in Casper and Lander.

“Writing grant proposals can be challenging,” said Jennifer Thompson with University of Wyoming Extension and one of the presenters. “Much of the information provided in the conference session in Casper or the workshop in Lander is applicable to anyone interested in writing their first proposal or those who have written one but have not been successful.”

The Casper workshop is 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 11, as part of the Wyoming Farmers Market Association conference at the Ramkota Hotel. There is a fee associated with the conference. The conference agenda and registration is at www.wyomingfarmersmarkets.org. The link is under “Exciting News.”

The Lander workshop is 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 18, at the Fremont County Library, 451 N. 2nd St. There is no fee to attend. Registration is requested by Friday, April 10, at http://bit.ly/landergrant. Lunch is on your own.

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Pollinators in spotlight at Natrona County Master Gardener conference

2015SpConferenceWeb_201502271303258256Who has the busiest job in Wyoming?

Gov. Matt Mead? Nope.

Craig Bohl, Cowboy football head coach? Not if you like to eat.

Bees and other pollinators, and their influence on plant productivity of yards, gardens and fields across Wyoming, are session topics at the Natrona Master Gardener spring conference in Casper.

“The Pollinators: Bees, Butterflies, Birds, Bugs, and More” is 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 11, at the Agricultural Resource and Learning Center, 2011 Fairgrounds Rd. Lunch and refreshments are provided.

“The conference is open to all gardeners or those interested in learning more about the pollinators in Wyoming,” said Donna Hoffman, horticulturist in the Natrona County office of University of Wyoming Extension.

Pollinators of Wyoming and how they help a garden is discussed in the morning with nine presentations during three afternoon sessions.

Sessions 1, 1:1:50 p.m. – Welcome bats to your Wyoming garden; Living sustainably from your garden; Native plants for Wyoming gardens

Sessions 2, 2-2:50 p.m. – Welcome bats to your Wyoming garden; Bee nest/house construction and bee ID; If they plant it or build it will they come?

Sessions 3, 2:50-3:10 p.m. – If they plant it or build it will they come?; Beekeeping; Native plants for Wyoming gardens

Registration is $30 by March 31 and $45 after. Ticket information and registration information is at natrona.net/springbuzz.

Private pesticide applicator training set in Casper

Private pesticide applicator training is being offered in Casper February through April.

Training is at the Agricultural Learning and Resource Center at 2011 Fairgrounds Rd.

February and March training is 1-4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, and Wednesday, March 18. Please register by telephone three days in advance by calling the University of Wyoming Extension office in Natrona County at 307-235-9400 and indicate the session you want to attend.

The April training is 1-3 p.m. Thursday, April 16. Please register with the Natrona County Weed and Pest Control District at 307-472-5559.

For more information, contact the Natrona County extension office at 307-235-9400.