University of Wyoming Extension News

Fiber animal production, wool workshop near Laramie

Fiber animal care, shearing and processing and marketing of fiber products information will be presented at a workshop Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Laramie Research and Extension Center Wool Lab.

The workshop is 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Turn right immediately after entering the Cliff and Martha Hansen Teaching Arena entrance on Wyo. 230 southwest of Laramie. The wool lab is the first building on the left.

“The workshop will be good introductions to raising fiber animals and understanding the steps in creating a marketable fiber product. Future shepherds and fiber enthusiasts will learn from the best producers and marketers around,” said UW Extension specialist Cole Ehmke, who is helping organize the workshop.

This event is organized by UW Extension and supported by the Laramie Rivers Conservation District and the USDA Risk Management Agency.

Lunch and snacks will be provided. Registration is requested online by Nov. 1 at Registration is $15.

For more information, contact Ehmke at 307-766-3782 or

$1.5 million grant to UW bolsters obesity research

Graduate student Kormakur Hognason, left, assists University of Wyoming animal science Professor Steve Ford on a project to find ways to reduce obesity in the U.S. and around the world. The research is funded with a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Graduate student Kormakur Hognason, left, assists University of Wyoming animal science Professor Steve Ford on a project to find ways to reduce obesity in the U.S. and around the world. The research is funded with a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

What rotten timing.

A four- to five-day period right after one’s birth determines whether you have a life-long wrestling match with obesity and other disorders like hypertension or a more peaceful life staying within average weight parameters and normal blood pressure.

Blame your mother.

University of Wyoming researchers in the Center for the Study of Fetal Programming know that newborn lambs born to obese mothers lack the leptin hormone surge that dials the appetite-regulating centers in the brain within a normal range and controls appetite through life and across generations.

Sheep are at the center of the research for good reason.

“Sheep turn out to be an exceptionally good model,” said center director professor Stephen Ford. “They’ve been used as a biomedical model for human pregnancy research all over the world.”

Now, a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will help researchers study the role of fetal cortisol in the mechanism that eliminates the postnatal leptin surge in offspring of obese mothers.

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UW ag college dean receives Wyoming Wool Growers Amigo Award

Dean Frank Galey and the Amigo Award from the Wyoming Wool Growers Association.

The Wyoming Wool Growers Association (WWGA) presented its Amigo Award to Frank Galey, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming, citing support of sheep research and outreach programs for producers.

The WWGA announced the award during its joint meeting with Idaho and Utah woolgrowers last month. The WWGA’s executive board decides recipients, said Bryce Reece, WWGA executive vice-president.

The college conducts an annual ram test, installed a sheep GrowSafe feeding system, which allows data collection on an individual animal while in a feedlot with other livestock, and entered into an agreement with the WWGA in late 2011 to house the Von Krosigk Targhee flock at the Laramie Research and Extension Center (LREC).

“Frank has fought pretty hard for us,” said Reece. “The discussion around the table was that few universities are even interested in doing sheep anything any more. Frank has not only maintained sheep activities, but it’s still a strong program.”

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UW Extension advises using repellents to reduce bluetongue risk in sheep

Persistent drought conditions in Wyoming have increased the risk of bluetongue disease in sheep, which is vectored by biting midges.

Scott Schell, assistant entomologist with University of Wyoming Extension, said the early spring and hot, dry conditions Wyoming has experienced favor the reappearance of bluetongue.

“Drought conditions create a lot of mucky edges around receding water holes, which is biting midge larval habitat,” said Schell. “Drought also concentrates livestock around fewer water sources in late summer when the biting midge population peaks.”

According to Schell, the only way to reduce the risk of bluetongue to sheep in Wyoming is the use of repellents. He said that long-lasting, insecticidal repellents, properly applied to sheep in the summer, provide economical protection frombluetongue.

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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 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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