University of Wyoming Extension News

University of Wyoming hosts field days this July at Sheridan, Powell

Mike Moore, left, manager of the Seed Certification Service, at last year's Powell Research and Extension Center field day.

Mike Moore, left, manager of the Seed Certification Service, at last year’s Powell Research and Extension Center field day.

Residents can ask-a-scientist during field days at University of Wyoming research and extension (R&E) centers in Sheridan and Powell this July.

Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Sheridan R&E Center Tuesday, July 14. The field day is at the Watt Regional Agriculture Center on the Sheridan College campus at 3401 Coffeen Ave. in Sheridan.

Introductions and tours are 2-4 p.m., a buffet dinner is at 5 p.m. (RSVP required) and research presentations are 5:30-7 p.m. Presentations include horticulture, viticulture, alfalfa weevil resistance, forage production, a wildlife depredation project and pollinators.

For more information and to RSVP by July 10 for dinner, call 307-673-2856 or email shrec@uwyo.edu.

Registration for the Powell R&E Center field day Thursday, July 16, begins at 1 p.m. with farm tours, introductions and industry demonstrations 2-3:30 p.m., research poster sessions and refreshments 3:30-4:30 p.m., and dinner (RSVP required) 4:30-7 p.m.
Research includes herbicide trials, pollinator food plots and insect pressures, cropping systems – cover and companion crops, Elite malt barley nursery, grape rootstock and Simplot mapping/precision agriculture.

For information and to RSVP by July 9, call 307-754-2223 or email sfulton3@uwyo.edu.

The R&E centers are part of the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station housed within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at UW

UW Extension range specialist’s blog translates complex research into plain English

Derek Scasta

Derek Scasta

A southwestern Wyoming producer baffled trying to understand new range cattle production research prompted a blog translating complex scientific literature into language for the general public.

University of Wyoming Extension range specialist Derek Scasta started the blog after visiting with the rancher.

“Scientists speak their own language and have to explain methods and statistics in great detail, making research very tedious to read and difficult for the general public to read,” said Scasta, an assistant professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The blog “Rangelands4U” is at http://bit.ly/rangelands4u.

“I regularly read research that deals with topics ranging from cattle to conservation,” said Scasta. “As an extension specialist, it is my job to make the information accessible and easy to understand.”

Research can be hard to access because not all scientific journals are openly accessible for free. Many research articles are behind paywalls.

“Many scientific journals rely on subscriptions by large libraries, or individuals have to purchase individual articles,” Scasta said. “This makes it nearly impossible for the average citizen to get information that has been vetted by the scientific community.”

Scasta said the typically one paragraph posts summarize key findings of the most recent research relevant to Wyoming rangelands.

Readers can subscribe with an email address to receive notifications of new posts.

UW names Sheridan Research and Extension Center director

Brian Mealor, right, and Jim Heitholt, head of the Department of Plant Sciences, visit last summer during a research and extension center field day

Brian Mealor, right, is the new director of the Sheridan Research and Extension Center. He and Jim Heitholt, head of the Department of Plant Sciences, visit last summer during a research and extension center field day

A plant scientist experienced in teaching, research and extension will begin May 18 as director of the Sheridan Research and Extension Center.

Brian Mealor is an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Wyoming and extension weed specialist.

“Brian’s professional experiences will serve him well in this position,” said Bret Hess, associate dean of research and director of the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station. The AES in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources directs four research and extension centers in the state.

“He has proven to be innovative, has strong organizational skills and possesses exceptional communication skills coupled with an ability to work with a broad range of constituencies,” said Hess.

Mealor received his Ph.D. and master’s degree in rangeland ecology and watershed management from the University of Wyoming. He joined the plant sciences department in 2009. Mealor replaces Valtcho Jeliazkov, who has accepted the director position of the Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center with Oregon State University.

Hess said Mealor will retain a research appointment and be an active member of the plant sciences department. He will transition from his faculty role to the director position throughout the spring and summer.

“I am very anxious to have Brian join the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station team,” said Hess. “He brings much-needed leadership to the position.”

The Sheridan R&E Center is housed in the Watt Agriculture Center at Sheridan College with trials on the grounds and about 400 acres of the Adams Ranch south of the college. The ranch is owned by Whitney Benefits. The center also maintains 250 acres of dry land crops and irrigated vegetables and fruit trees at its former headquarters near Wyarno.

UW bulletin highlights agriculture research across Wyoming

More than 90 research projects are described in the bulletin, including high and low tunnel studies.

More than 90 research projects are described in the bulletin, including high and low tunnel studies.

Cattle, sheep, traditional and alternative farm crops, weed control and fertilization are among research projects covered in the fourth annual Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station Field Days Bulletin.

This year’s bulletin also highlights studies on vegetable, herb and grape production in Wyoming as well as season-extension systems such as high and low tunnels.

“The intent of the WAES Field Days Bulletin is to demonstrate the vast array of activities that may be of interest to a wide variety of citizens,” said WAES director Bret Hess.

Articles summarize more than 90 completed or in-progress research projects at the four WAES research and extension centers near Laramie, Lingle, Sheridan and Powell; at the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; or at participating farms and ranches inWyoming.

“Authors address the high points of their specific projects and provide contact information in case readers wish to receive more in-depth information about a particular topic,” Hess said.

Some of these research projects were highlighted at WAES field days earlier this summer in Sheridan and Powell, and other studies will be discussed at two upcoming field days: Thursday, Aug. 21, at the James C.Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center near Lingle and Thursday, Aug. 28, at the Laramie R&E Center.

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UW bulletin highlights cattle, sheep, crop, weed research

Powell R&E Center director Abdel Mesbah, left, hands the microphone to extension educator Jeff Edwards of Goshen County during a prior field day session.

Beef cattle, sheep, traditional and alternative farm crops, specialty crops including vegetables, turf grass variety trials and weed control are among research projects covered in the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station’s (WAES) Field Days Bulletin.

This is the publication’s second year.

“The goal of the bulletin is to document and make publicly available the content of research and other activities being conducted by WAES and at the four University of Wyoming research and extension (R&E) centers,” said WAES director Bret Hess. “The bulletin provides a forum for researchers and educators affiliated with WAES to publish results of their activities and to introduce new projects.”

Those attending an R&E center field day will receive hardcopies of the bulletin. The publication is also posted on the WAES website at http://www.uwyo.edu/uwexpstn/ under Important Links on the left-hand side of the page.

Field days begin at 1:55 p.m. Tuesday, July 17, at the Powell R&E Center; 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, at the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture R&E Center (SAREC) near Lingle; and 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, at the Laramie R&E Center greenhouse complex at the corner of 30th and Harney streets.

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