UW college of agriculture teams compete at Denver National Western Stock Show


Chart shows the yearly attendance figures from the Denver Western Stock Show
Source: Denver National Western Stock Show

Teams and individual contestants from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming will test their skills at the Denver National Western Stock Show (NWSS) now through Sunday, Jan. 27.

Established in 1906, the NWSS is the leading livestock, rodeo and horse show in the nation. A 16-day event of western heritage and entertainment attracts over 650,000 visitors every year from Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and surrounding areas.

The UW collegiate livestock judging team will compete Thursday, Jan. 17, starting at 8 a.m. in the Denver Coliseum. The UW wool judging team will also be competing at 9 a.m. that day at the Adams County Fairgrounds. The UW meats judging team will contend in the meats contest at the JBS facilities in Greeley Jan. 20 at 8 a.m.

UW will have a presence at every rodeo in the coliseum as part of the university’s partnership with NWSS. The pro-rodeo Wednesday, Jan. 23, is UW night, and spectators are encouraged to wear their brown and gold.

A few UW rodeo team members will compete individually throughout the stock show. Tyler Corrington, the UW rodeo team rough stock coach, will be saddle bronc riding on Jan. 18 and 19. Jake Fulton, a senior form Valentine, Neb., will be steer wrestling in the performance round on Jan. 21 and in the slack on Jan. 22.

Jase Staudt, a junior from Nathrop, Colo., is team roping and tie down roping Jan. 18 and JC Flake, a sophomore from Mesa, Ariz., will also be team roping Jan. 23. Dusty Taylor, a junior from Craig, Colo., will be competing Jan. 21 and Jan. 22 in the team roping contest.

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UW livestock judging team wins championship


Photograph of Logan Despain's face
Logan Despain was the overall champion individual at the Phoenix competition.

The University of Wyoming livestock judging team won champion team overall and a team member won high individual overall at the Livestock Judging Classic in Phoenix Dec. 31.

They also won champion team in swine and champion team in sheep/goats. There were nine teams and 73 contestants.

“There’s definitely no better way to start the year than with a win, so I’m very proud of the group and their work leading up to the contest,” Caleb Boardman, livestock judging coach, said.

Logan Despain from Laramie was high individual overall, first in swine, second in reasons, fourth in beef and fifth in sheep/goats.

Zackery Schumaker from Sweet Springs, W.Va., was third overall, fifth in swine and fifth in beef.

Justin Terry from Grants Pass, Ore., was fifth overall, and Alexi Goodnow, from Craig, Colo., was ninth overall.

“Without question it is a reflection on the talent this group of individuals has and makes the prospects of the year to come exciting, but more importantly, their work ethic and how coachable they are is what makes me believe they could have a special year,” Boardman said.

On Thursday, Jan. 17, the team will compete at the National Western Stock Show in Denver.

First UW wool judging team in years preps for National Western Stock Show

Student examines wool from a fleece
Juan Gavette from Everson, Wash., evaluates a fleece staple.

Finding a wool judging team at the University of Wyoming only makes sense with the state being one of the top five wool producers in the nation.

But 18 years have passed since there has been any record of a wool judging team.

Led by Whit Stewart, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science and UW Extension sheep specialist, the newly created wool judging team is preparing to compete at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) in Denver Jan. 17.

Stewart coached two wool judging teams as part of his assistantship while working on his doctorate at New Mexico State University. This is primarily where he gained his collegiate coaching experience, he noted. Stewart also co-coached a 4-H wool judging team in Gillette while working for UW Extension in Campbell County.

He said creating the team complements efforts to keep the sheep program.

“When we look toward attracting students in the college of ag, those sheep-specific students who have a real interest in sheep production, this is a great competition for them because it’s based on real industry standards,” said Stewart. “It’s something that complements their education, their oral articulation skills, their ability to reason through a challenge and use logic.”

The 13-member UW team has two assistant coaches, Katie Hazlewood and Bryce McKenzie.

Different types of wool have different uses. Competitors must identify and attribute a value to different types of wool as part of the judging.

There are three components to the contest.

Grading reel

Students examine 15 different fleeces (one fleece is the wool off one sheep for a year’s worth of growth) in the grading reel. They identify the micron of the wool, which tells how fine the wool is and its uses, such as “next-to-skin,” outwear, carpets or blankets.

Then they identify the clean yield on the fleece, which is a percentage range. There are also length requirements as well as character and purity designations. All of these factors relate to the industry and the value of the fleece. This first part of the contest is worth the majority of the points.

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Eighteen sessions at Wyoming-Utah Ag Days in Evanston

Wyoming-Utah Ag Days are Wednesday-Thursday Jan. 30-31 at the Roundhouse in Evanston.

Sessions both days are 10 a.m.-3 p.m.           

            “With many different breakout sessions to choose from, there is a lot to learn,” said Bridger Feuz, University of Wyoming Extension educator based in Uinta County. The program is in collaboration with Utah State University Cooperative Extension.

Wednesday sessions include beef quality assurance, body condition scoring, cheat grass, riparian grazing, using control burns to improve rangeland dominated by sagebrush, the economic value of winter forages, ATV use in agriculture and a bovine viral diarrhea discussion.

The Wyoming-Utah Ag Days schedule is displayed.            Feuz, extension livestock marketing specialist, will forecast the market outlook during the Wednesday lunch. John Madany will discuss the book “Defending Beef – The Case for Sustainable Meat Production,” by Nicolette Hahn Niman during lunch Thursday.

Thursday sessions include ag legacies, the small acre water guide, conservation techniques to increase grazing potential and natural resources, common mistakes in pasture management, sheep management strategies, cull cow marking and a meat cutting demonstration.

Participants can attend any or all of the sessions but must RSVP to be included in the lunch sessions, said Feuz.

To reserve a meal for the lunch sessions, call 307-783-0570 by 9 a.m. Jan. 28 and please leave a message if you get the voice mail, said Feuz.

Five-session program in Powell focuses on women in agriculture

Jeremiah Vardiman

University of Wyoming Extension is offering Annie’s Project this January through March in Powell.

Annie’s Project is a five-class program for women in agriculture. Based on the life of a farm woman in Illinois, this series helps empower women in agriculture to be better business partners through networks and by managing and organizing critical information, said Jeremiah Vardiman, UW Extension educator in Powell.

This is for any and all women in agriculture, he said.

“That means women in commercial agriculture, a spouse of an operation, farmers markets, agriculture service, agriculture industry or non-traditional agriculture,” said Vardiman.

The first class, which is two sessions, is Saturday, Jan. 19, and will focus on communication in a multigenerational operation. Part two is Jan. 26. Class three will focus on food for profit Feb. 16. The last two classes on Feb. 23 and March 2 are related to ag resource programs and family health and wellbeing.

All classes are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Nelson House, 550 College Dr. Lunch is served at each class. Each session requires a $10 fee at time of registration.

Classes are limited to the first 20 participants who register. Those who attend all five classes will receive a soft-shell jacket.

To register, go to bit.ly/powellannie or contact the Powell extension office at 307-754-8836 or the Cody office at 307-527-8560.