UW meat judging team cracks top 10 in national contest

Photograph of several people with award ribbons and plaques.
Members of the University of Wyoming meats judging team are, from from left, Haley Cole, Zach Davis, Ericka Eckhardt, Cedar Radosevich Anderson, Katie Hazlewood, coach Sierra Jepsen and Kelcey Christensen, manager of the UW Meat Laboratory.

The University of Wyoming’s meat judging team corralled its first top 10 finish of its first season by placing seventh at the 2018 American Meat Science Association International Meat Judging Contest in Dakota City, Neb.

Nineteen teams and 105 students competed Nov. 11.

“The International is the Super Bowl of meat judging,” said coach Sierra Jepsen. “It was their best performance of the year. We have not had a team since 2015 and for them to come back and be in the top 10 is amazing.”

The meat team competed at four contests in the spring and five in the fall. The International was the last for this team.

“They’ve been finishing right at 11th in the fall contests,” said Jepsen. “To finally crack that at the International, I’m really excited for them for all their hard work. It’s exciting for them to end on a high note.”

Four of the five members are on the scoring team at competitions with one alternate. Haley Cole of Cheyenne had the top score for the team at the International, finishing 13th overall, second in beef and total placings and third in total beef.

Katie Hazlewood of Riverton placed 13th in beef judging. Cedar Anderson of Manila, Utah, finished 19th overall and eighth in beef grading. Zach Davis of Sebastopol, Calif., finished 15th in specifications and 10th in placings.

Jepsen said Davis scored a perfect 100 on his specifications. Seventeen students earned perfect scores, and ties were broken based on a student’s reasons scores. Only 17 out of the 72 students eligible to be on a scoring team received perfect scores.

Continue reading UW meat judging team cracks top 10 in national contest

UW Extension offers respirator fit testing at pesticide recertification program

Respirator fit testing will be available through the University of Wyoming Extension at the pesticide application recertification program Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center in Casper.

Federal law requires all commercial and private producers using a respirator as personal protective equipment during pesticide application or handling to receive annual respirator fit testing and training.

“An increasing number of pesticides are being labeled requiring the use of a respirator as a component of the personal protective equipment,” said Jeff Edwards, UW Extension pesticide training coordinator.

Registration is at https://wyorecert.eventbrite.com. Proof of doctor clearance (medical evaluation) to Consolidated Manufacturing Enterprises, Inc. (CME), your own respirator, and a fee of $55 per test payable to CME are required test day. CME will issue a certificate of clearance onsite and mail the official fit test card to the applicator.

Contact the University of Wyoming Extension pesticide safety education office at 307-837-2956 or visit http://bit.ly/wy-pesticide-training for more information regarding fit testing and training opportunities.

New online resources from UW Extension focus on community development, leadership

Photograph of man
Duane Williams

Two new online learning activities free from University of Wyoming Extension are now available online for Wyoming community leaders and anyone interested in working to improve their communities.

“Clues to Successful Community Development” focuses on core characteristics researchers have identified in thriving rural communities. Access it at bit.ly/Clues_Community_Development.

“Community Development: What’s HOPE Got to do With It” explores the concept of hope and how it is reflected in successful leaders. Access it at bit.ly/Leadership_HOPE.

Each self-paced program provides information, interactive elements and practical research and advice and can be completed in about 30-60 minutes.

Duane Williams, University of Wyoming Extension community development educator, said participants will take away tangible skills they can use in their communities.

He said, “Knowing how your community measures up on factors for success can be helpful in guiding future actions and investment. Successful community development is not magic or accidental but rather the accumulation of hard work and sound investments.”

Other free courses from UW Extension include “Wyoming Tax Facts” and “Personal Financial Literacy: Understanding and Avoiding Credit Pitfalls.” Go to www.uwyo.edu/uwe and click the Extension Online Courses button.

UW Extension offers four-session, teen-focused diabetes programs in Lander, Riverton

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Nutrition and food safety educator Laura Balis

Information to help teens with diabetes or pre-diabetes and their families is being offered during four-week programs this January in Lander and Riverton.

Learning to eat and live well with diabetes is the focus of the free “Dining with Diabetes in Wyoming” sessions, said Laura Balis, University of Wyoming Extension nutrition and food safety educator.

“The program helps individuals learn strategies to manage their diabetes through menu planning, carbohydrate counting, portion control and label reading,” said Balis. “Participants have the opportunity to sample healthy foods made using the concepts taught.”

Topics covered include What is Diabetes?; Carbohydrates and Sweeteners; Fats and Sodium; and Vitamins, Minerals and Fiber, said Balis.

Space is limited to 16, and dinners are provided. Lander enrollment is at bit.ly/LanderDWD, and Riverton enrollment is at bit.ly/RivertonDWD, or by calling 307-332-2363 for either location.

Programs in each town are 5:30-7:30 p.m. The Riverton sessions are Tuesdays, Jan. 8-29, at the Fremont Center, 1010 Fairgrounds Drive. Lander sessions are Wednesdays, Jan. 9-30, at Lander Valley High School, 350 Baldwin Creek Rd.

Balis is presenting the sessions assisted by Hannah Kesterson, a Colorado State University dietetics intern.

The Riverton Lion’s Club is sponsoring the programs.

Find everything turkey in new UW Extension guide

Let’s Talk Turkey makes confident cooks.

In time for Turkey Day, UW Extension has issued a guide to preparing the bird with less stress and guesswork. “Let’s Talk Turkey” covers buying, thawing, roasting, storing and reheating.

“Whether cooking the turkey is a first-time event or annual tradition, there are always questions,” says nutrition and food safety educator Vicki Hayman of UW Extension in Weston County. “Here’s where to find all the basics.”

The new online resource is at bit.ly/UWEpubs. Enter “turkey” in the search bar. “Let’s Talk Turkey” offers these tips and more:

  • A frozen turkey CAN be roasted and ready for dinner without thawing.
  • If buying fresh, hold off purchasing a turkey until one or two days before cooking.
  • To avoid contamination in the kitchen, never wash raw poultry.
  • Enjoy watching the pop-up thermometer, but to test for doneness, use a food thermometer.

For more information, contact your UW Extension county office at www.uwyo.edu/uwe/county or call the U.S. Department of Agriculture meat and poultry hotline at 1-888-674-6854.

“Let’s Talk Turkey” is one of more than 500 how-to guides from UW Extension (see bit.ly/UWEpubs) that help extend skills in cooking, baking, gardening, landscaping and more. YouTube video series from UW Extension include “From the Ground Up,” “Barnyards and Backyards and Exploring the Nature of Wyoming.”