University of Wyoming hosting Unmanned Aerial Vehicle symposium

            Recent developments in drone usage along with technology challenges, acquiring data and legal issues are among topics at the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Symposium at the University of Wyoming.

Sessions are Wednesday-Thursday, May 30-31, at the University of Wyoming Convention Center in the Hilton Garden Inn.

Experts and users of drone technology will share experiences on developments in hardware and software along with applications in agriculture, geology, photogrammetry, communications and many more, said Ramesh Sivanpillai, research scientist in the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC) on campus.

WyGISC is hosting the event. Visit http://bit.ly/2018drones for a complete list of speakers, topics and to register.

Cameras and sensors onboard drones acquire images and videos providing valuable information for agricultural producers, foresters, hydrologists, geologists, meteorologists, city planners, real estate agents and others.

But collecting images is more than deciding what drone model to buy and how much to spend, he said.

“One has to carefully plan for the amount and type of images to collect, obtain adequate resources to post-process those data, and most importantly, stay within the legal requirements while these UAVs are in the air,” said Sivanpillai.

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Agricultural emergency response training meeting near Laramie

A meeting to train for and improve planning for agricultural disasters in southeast Wyoming is Wednesday, May 23, near Laramie.

The free training is 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Laramie Research and Extension Center, 470 Highway 230. The program is a collaborative effort between the extension services of the University of Wyoming, Colorado State University and Montana State University, and the USDA, said Scott Cotton, UW Extension educator and delegate to the Extension Disaster Education Network.

He said the training is focused toward agricultural producers, law enforcement, firefighters, public health officials, county commissioners, veterinarians and others related to agriculture or emergency management.

The meeting addresses emergencies and disasters that could affect agriculture and rural communities.

The program includes:

* Disaster issues specific to the region.

* Livestock transportation accident response.

* Information on working with the emergency manager.

* Animal identification and diseases related to disasters.

* FEMA training on disease outbreaks at fairs and exhibitions.

The program is one of several this spring across Wyoming. The Wyoming Stock Growers Association and Wyoming Wool Growers Association are among groups supporting the meetings that look at agriculture in individual counties to develop better emergency mitigation efforts, said Cotton.

The seminar includes FEMA-certified exercises for emergency responders and peace officer credit hours. To register and for more information, go to https://www.eventbrite.comand type in Laramie, Wyoming, in the “City or location” search field to find “Ag Disaster Training for County Agencies in Laramie, WY”.

Contact Cotton at 307-235-9400 or secotton@natronacounty-wy.gov for more information.

Baby goats reign over Lander yoga classes

Kinsley McClung has a visitor pass by while she and her mother, Jennifer, participate in a goat yoga class.

Let’s get the 800-pound gorilla out of the barn first – the 25-pound-or-so baby Boer goats ruled the yoga classes.

The white-and-brown smile makers were snatched up before and after the two goat yoga classes west of Lander in April and hugged and caressed, with yoga goers closing their eyes during the snuggles and then the goats closing THEIR eyes and drifting to sleep – or at least into a pretty high level of being centered.

Goat yoga was new to Lander – maybe to most of Wyoming – with University of Wyoming Extension educator Laura Balis proposing goat yoga as a fundraiser for the Fremont County 4-H Program. The sessions raised $686 ($250 from sponsors and $436 from participants).

Baldwin Creek Boers provided its barn.

Each baby goat was hoisted over a gate from the corral into the barn area converted into the yoga site, and participants brought their own mats to lie on the large blue tarp covering the dirt floor. Yoga practitioners followed session leader Jackie Lauer as inquisitive baby goats nibbled hair (smiles), walked between limbs (smiles), nuzzled against faces (smiles), and generally made themselves available to anyone (more smiles).

Baldwin Creek Boers’ Terrill Weston said they volunteered the facilities to help 4-H’ers. “I’m a UW grad and want to help out the extension folks anyway we could,” he said.

Becca Cross of Lander had just finished the first session and like many others stood holding a pretty-relaxed-looking baby goat.

“I feel lighter and giddier,” she said. “This is the most I’ve laughed in a yoga class. This was perfect. Just really light, a good class but entertaining, too, just to watch the goats. The baby animals make you smile.”

One woman with a friend was snuggling a baby goat (the baby goat, eyes closed, absorbing the hug) prior to the start of the first class. “I want one,” she soundlessly mouthed to her friend.

Cory Daly of Riverton liked the addition of goats to yoga.

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Natrona County extension hosts tree care workshop

Portrait of Donna Hoffman
Donna Hoffman

Tree issues above and belowground are among topics at a tree care workshop Wednesday, May 30, in Casper.

Sessions are 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Agricultural Resource and Learning Center (ARLC), 2011 Fairgrounds Road, said Donna Hoffman, Natrona County University of Wyoming extension horticulture educator. Lunch is provided.

Topics are tree grafting; proper tree selection and design to promote diversity; detecting, assessing, and reporting tree pests; and identifying and correcting root defects in young trees.

Registration is $10 and is requested by Wednesday, May 23. For more information or to register, visit the extension office in the ARLC or call 307-235-9400.

Governor’s Brucellosis Coordination Team to meet in Lander

A brucellosis surveillance update and the latest research information at the University of Wyoming are among topics at the Governor’s Brucellosis Coordination Team meeting Tuesday, May 22, in Lander.

The session is open to the public and is 9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. at The Inn, 260 Grandview Dr.

Wyoming State Veterinarian Jim Logan will give the brucellosis surveillance update, and brucellosis cases in cattle and bison herds in Montana and Idaho will be discussed.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will present 2017-18 results of its surveillance for hunter-harvested and feedground elk.

UW researchers will give the latest information on their work and the status of the Biosafety Level 3 facility at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory.

A brief update on an elk movement study ongoing in the Bighorn Mountains and a discussion on the impacts of antler collection on elk movement will be presented along with relevant activities during the legislative session.