New bulletin shows how to calculate, apply Animal Unit Months

          How to estimate and calculate Animal Unit Months and Animal Unit Equivalents to help manage for sustainable grazing and maintaining federal grazing permits is explained in a new bulletin from the University of Wyoming Extension.

The information is in Animal Unit Month Concepts and Applications for Grazing Rangelands, B-1320. An AUM is the amount of air-dry forage a 1,000-pound cow and her un-weaned calf will consume (the “Animal Unit”) in one month. AUMs are frequently used to determine sustainable stocking rates for grazing pastures and rangelands in the West. AUMs can also be useful for managing private lands grazing because they link animal demand with forage supply.

The bulletin is available for free viewing and download by going to and clicking on the Find a Publication link and entering the bulletin title or number. The publication is available in pdf, HTML or ePub formats.

Rangelands, local agriculture Teton County tour focus

           A ranch tour focused on rangelands and local agriculture is Saturday, Aug. 4, in Teton County.

The event is 10 a.m. to noon and includes a tour at Snake River Ranch, said Glenn Owings, University of Wyoming Extension educator. He said there is no cost to attend, but registration is required. There is a limit of 30.

Presentations are 10-11 a.m. at the Teton County 4-H Extension Office, 255 W. Deloney, in Jackson, and include rangeland ecosystems, how ranches typically work in Wyoming and associated landscape values. The Snake River Ranch tour is 11:15 a.m.-noon.

Owings said there is no age limit, although minors will need to be with an adult.

“The event will go on rain or shine,” said Owings. “Transportation from the classroom to the ranch is not provided. Please carpool if possible.”

To register, contact Owings at 307-367-4380 or at


Smith earns Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station award

Travis Smith in white cowboy hat is flanked by four student workers with expansive view from top of mountain behind them
Travis Smith (center) with student employees Orrin Kinberg, Matt Dole, Connor James, and Rian James after a day’s work setting up stock fence and hauling half-yaks and cows to the top of Jelm Mountain.

A Laramie Research and Extension Center (LREC) unit manager who ensures approximately 250 beef cows are bred, fed, grazed and remain healthy, livestock research is managed with reliable experimental controls and UW classes and student employees gain real-world experience has earned the 2018 Kathleen Bertoncelj Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) Staff Award.

Travis Smith, beef unit manager of the LREC, was recognized in December in Laramie for contributions in the three areas of the University of Wyoming Land Grant mission – research, teaching, and outreach.

In research, Smith has helped coordinate experiments for faculty investigators and graduate students, including the logistics of moving animals, synchronizing breeding protocols, supervising calving, and managing animal handling and sampling.

“Travis has a strong work ethic and has always been ready and willing to assist. He routinely works long hours and finds solutions to complex animal research logistical questions,” said nominator Derek Scasta, UW Extension rangeland specialist and UW assistant professor.

For over a year Smith has managed 14 cattle-yak crosses in a program to address high-altitude pulmonary hypertension, also known as brisket disease. Smith and crew built temporary corrals in the parking lot of the Jelm Mountain Observatory last fall, and over the course of a month, he hauled about 600 gallons of water per day and delivered about 25 tons of hay to the top of the 9,656-ft. peak.

Smith often contributes to scientific papers, which in 2015 included serving as co-author on research published in the Journal of Animal Science and Rangelands.

In his teaching role, Smith has coordinated student laboratories for UW beef production classes and taught artificial insemination and breeding exercises. Smith has served as adviser and co-adviser for the UW Ranch Horse Team, helped re-establish the UW ROTC mounted color guard, and supervises student workers.

Smith has gained notoriety for managing Pistol and Pete, the pair of Haflinger draft horses that pull the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources sheep wagon and other wagons in parades and events around the state. He helps coordinate Laramie Research and Extension Center’s annual family farm day and assists with UW Extension artificial insemination (AI) workshops.

“Travis is a true asset to UW, given his humble attitude, expertise in beef cattle management, and ability to collaborate in a meaningful way,” said Scasta.

Friends and supporters made gifts to establish the Kathleen Bertoncelj AES Staff Award last year. Bartoncelj is a former senior office associate in WAES who worked at UW for 38 years, the last 16 in WAES.

As the research unit of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the WAES funds and actively promotes investigations to increase agricultural productivity, natural resource stewardship, and community well-being. The LREC is one of four research and experiment stations WAES operates around the state.

For more information, visit or contact or (307) 766-3667.