Fremont County volunteers sought for health, wellness advocate training

Portrait of Laura Balis speaking
Fremont County nutrition and food safety educator Laura Balis

         Participants are being sought in Fremont County for a new volunteer-based program to receive training through University of Wyoming Extension on how to be an advocate for health and wellness.

Volunteers will gain new skills and knowledge through in-person and online trainings, said Laura Balis, University of Wyoming Extension nutrition and food safety educator.

Volunteers will learn how to assess community needs, market and teach workshops and programs, staff health fair booths and participate in community health coalitions.

“I’m excited to bring a new volunteer opportunity to Fremont County,” said Balis, “Master Volunteers who complete this training can help improve the health of our communities.”

The in-person trainings are 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays from Feb. 5 until March 19 at the Lander or Riverton extension offices. The online portion will take two hours each week.

The course costs $10 per person. Register at For more information, contact Balis at 307-332-2363 or

UW wool judging team grabs National Western Stock Show crown

Members of the wool judging team are shown with their ribbons and trophy.
Members of the champion UW wool judging team are, standing, from left, assistant coaches Bryce McKenzie and Katie Hazlewood, Wilson Renner, Grace Corrette, Zach Davis, Megan Proctor, Amy Newman, Courtney Newman, coach Whit Stewart. Sitting, from left, Juan Gavette, Dallin Brady, Laurel Rigby, Dylan Laverell.


      The University of Wyoming’s wool judging team won the competition and a team member was overall champion at the National Western Stock Show in Denver Thursday.

UW competed against Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Angelo State University in Texas and Kansas State University. Each had two teams in the competition. UW had Gold and Brown teams competing. The Gold team was overall champion. Gold team members also claimed firsts in various categories.

This was the team’s first competition and was UW’s first wool judging championship at the show since 1997. UW has not had a wool judging team for 16 years.

“Everyone was pretty ecstatic about the win,” said team coach Whit Stewart, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science and UW Extension sheep specialist.

Gold team member Laurel Rigby of Ronan, Mont., was overall individual champion, first in the grading rail competition and was seventh in placings. Dallin Brady of Kimberly, Idaho, was third overall, first in placings and reasons, and ninth in the grading rail contest.

The Gold team was first in grading rail and third in placings.

Continue reading UW wool judging team grabs National Western Stock Show crown

Meat processing facility, BeefChain on Fremont County Farm and Ranch Days agenda


Padlock Ranch CEO Trey Patterson

The president of the Ranchester-based Padlock Ranch will present “Ranching With a Purpose” during lunch Wednesday and pairing the right dogs to the right predators is the Thursday lunch topic during Fremont County Farm and Ranch Days Wednesday-Thursday Feb. 6-7 in Riverton.

This year’s event at the Fremont County Fairgrounds has 30 sessions over two days, plus private pesticide applicator classes all day Thursday. Sessions begin 9 a.m. and end 3:45 p.m. each day. Free lunches are prepared by the Fremont County Cattlewomen and provided by event sponsors.

The Lander and Riverton Fremont County extension

Author, rancher Cat Urbigkit

offices plan and coordinate the annual event.

Fremont County extension educator Chance Marshall said planners hope to have something exciting for everyone at this year’s conference.

“This tradition will be 35 years old this year, and there’s lots to talk about with agriculture in Fremont County and Wyoming,” said Marshall. “The two-day educational expo will consist of over 30 educational presentations and a bigger-than-ever trade show of mostly local vendors.”

Padlock Ranch CEO Trey Patterson is scheduled 12:45-1:45 p.m. following lunch Wednesday. Patterson, a former extension beef specialist for South Dakota State University, joined the ranch in 2005. The Padlock Ranch is a family-owned, integrated cow/calf feedlot and farming operation.

Cat Urbigkit’s keynote lunch address about guardian dogs is the same time Thursday. Urbigkit lives on her family’s working sheep ranch in western Wyoming. She is a full-time non-fiction book author, photographer and blogger and is co-owner and editor of The Shepherd magazine.

          Wyoming State Veterinarian Jim Logan starts sessions Wednesday discussing risks of algae blooms to livestock producers. Various Wyoming agencies collaborated to determine bodies of water that potentially have algal blooms that are harmful to livestock. Logan will talk about confirmed cases in Wyoming and what producers should watch for.

Other topics Wednesday include the Genuine Meats meat processing facility in Riverton, BeefChain, Central Wyoming College and economic development for Fremont County agriculture, small-scale farming soil management and ag markets.

Thursday sessions include making beef jerky, a producer brucellosis meeting, potential for hemp production and regulations in Wyoming, working horse care, wool quality and selection, Wyoming weed watch list, grasshopper management, creating a grazing plan and ATV safety.

           For more information, contact Marshall at 307-682-7281 or

UW Extension offers southeast Wyoming pesticide applicator training

UW Extension educator Caleb Carter

         Several trainings to obtain or renew pesticide applicator licenses are being offered across southeast Wyoming in February and March by the University of Wyoming Extension.

The training includes integrated pest management, how to properly read and understand the label, types and use of personal protective equipment and federal reporting requirements.

Four hours of continuing education credits are available to any commercial pesticide applicator license holders.

Applications will be submitted to the Wyoming Department of Agriculture for approval and issuance of licenses upon course completion.

Obtaining a private pesticide applicators license allows individuals to purchase and apply restricted use pesticides for private use.

County, dates, times and locations for the trainings are:

Goshen County: Please RSVP to Caleb Carter, Goshen County extension educator, at 307-532-2436. All sessions are in the Goshen County 4-H Building at the Goshen County Fairgrounds. Continue reading UW Extension offers southeast Wyoming pesticide applicator training

UW Extension hosts range beef cattle nutrition workshop in Gillette

Portrait of Blaine Horn
Extension educator Blaine Horn

Join the University of Wyoming Extension for a workshop to learn more about meeting the nutritional needs of range beef cattle Tuesday-Wednesday, Feb. 5-6, at the Campbell County Library Pioneer Room, 2101 South 4J Road, Gillette.

The workshop was created to help cattle ranchers improve their understanding of rangeland pastures as a source for feed energy and how to optimize supplement feed costs to help maximize profitability, said Blaine Horn, a UW Extension rangeland educator for northeast Wyoming.

“This workshop is to help ranchers appreciate how the land can be the only source of feed energy for their cowherd,” said Horn.

The workshop is limited to 20 participants. This is a highly interactive workshop and includes discussions of the topics and opportunities for questions and answers, said Horn. The workshop includes hands-on activities and exercises to stimulate learning and understanding the material.

Workshops are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days. Tuesday includes postpartum interval (PPI) and length of breeding season, body condition, day length at calving, and nutrition before and after calving effects on the PPI, energy and the net energy maintenance systems; energy components in feed and forages; dry matter intake; energy content of northeast Wyoming rangeland forage in relation to beef cow production needs; cow body weight gain or loss and how a rancher can minimize winter feeding costs.

Continue reading UW Extension hosts range beef cattle nutrition workshop in Gillette