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An Ag Celebration

Written by Dennis Sun

If anyone had doubts about the future of agriculture in Wyoming, all they had to do was jump in the car with the Roundup team this past week and, if they had an open mind, by the end they would have realized that Wyoming agriculture is in good hands with its youth. For those of us who have a little grey in our hair, I suspect we already knew it was true, but it’s great to witness it again.  

After the rains we received the first two days of the week, and after dumping out over 2.25 inches of water from the rain gauges, I figured the week couldn’t get any better, but it did.

We attended the Environmental Stewardship Tour on Tuesday, June 21, on the Ryan and Teresa Fieldgrove Ranch northeast of Buffalo. While the Wyoming Stock Growers and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture hosted the event, it was for all of Wyoming to enjoy and to learn from. The sponsors and partners involved were a “who’s who” of Wyoming, but no one was promoting themselves or their products – all were promoting and supporting agriculture and stewardship, and the Fieldgrove’s ranch was an ideal setting to showcase those interests.

Using God’s sunshine and water, cattle, goats, range improvements and fencing as tools, they have changed the landscape. You really have to give Ryan, Teresa and their three children credit, as they brought in goats to manage a leafy spurge problem. I always figured one goat was your worst nightmare, but having up to 500 of them around had to be a challenge. They have met the challenge, and have learned the ways of raising goats and eliminating leafy spurge in northern Wyoming. What a story they have to tell – we congratulate them and are proud to call them our friends. As always, the event was well worth attending, and a learning experience, as they also showcased the local Basque culture and food during dinner.

On Wednesday, June 22 I had the 2011 WyRED class at the ranch identifiying grasses and other natural resource issues. The Wyoming Society for Range Management and the Natrona County Conservation District hosted the weeklong class for students from grades nine through 12. Adults can compete in the forage identification contest at the end of the week, but the class is tailored for students, whom I should call “young adults” after watching them during the course of the day. What a group of well-mannered young adults, and they came wanting and prepared to learn about natural resources. Looking back, these young adults are years ahead of what I thought I knew at their age. Hats off to them and their instructors who were involved in the event. The adults who planned, taught and supported the course are to be commended for their voluntary work. Thanks to NRCS, BLM, Forest Service and other agencies, the UW Ag College and conservations district personnel for taking time from their jobs to help out. Keep this annual class in mind for your kids and grandkids, as they will never forget it.  

So, suck in your tummies and puff out your chests, because with these events, as well as our Wyoming High School Rodeo Finals finishing out the week, it has been a great week for Wyoming agriculture.

Dennis