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Guest Opinions

AES Year of Celebration Recognizes Public Support

Written by Bret Hess

This has been a summer to remember celebrating the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station’s (WAES) 125th anniversary.

Laramie Research and Extension Center (LREC) Director Doug Zalesky and his team of our two Haflinger mascots, Pistol and Pete, traversed the state to pull the college’s newly refurbished sheep wagon at numerous events. Pistol and Pete were greeted with enthusiasm everywhere they appeared. Visit Pistol and Pete’s Wyoming tour dates at uwyo.edu/uwexpstn to see their schedule.

We received nothing but positive feedback for representing the University of Wyoming (UW) and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in the communities the team visited.

And just as we thought we had reached record attendance at our field days and open houses, we eclipsed last year’s overall attendance with record attendance at our field days in Powell and Sheridan. The open house at James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center (SAREC) had higher-than-average attendance, as well. This was not surprising, considering each of the centers also celebrated providing service to Wyoming for over 65 years in the case of Powell and 101 years in Sheridan and Goshen County at SAREC. The Family Farm Day hosted by LREC was a huge success again this year.

Seeing exuberance in persons of all ages as they enjoy everything the centers have to offer is encouraging. This included a tremendous presentation from Agricultural Liaison Librarian David Kruger about the book he wrote on the 125 years of the WAES. Extension Director Glen Whipple’s impression pretty well sums up how well David’s presentation was received.

He said, “David made the history interesting. I was left thinking ‘I want to learn the rest of the story’ when he finished.’”

We also had an opportunity to share our history at the Wyoming State Fair and Rodeo. Thanks to Dennis Sun and the Wyoming Livestock Roundup for helping secure a booth and a spot to park the college’s wagon near the Roundup tent.

Fair week culminated with sharing the Wyoming Department of Agriculture’s (WDA) Excellence in Agriculture awards program. I offer many thanks to WDA Director Doug Miyamoto and his staff for making the awards reception an event to remember.

WAES teamed with the UW Foundation to host “Friends of AES” in September. Many major contributors and long-term supporters of the AES visited Laramie to help celebrate the milestone. UW President Laurie Nichols welcomed the group, then found time to stay to learn more about the history and how we’ve been celebrating our anniversary. We could not be more proud of the tremendous support we realize from our friends of AES.

Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) wrote, “We have all benefitted from the collaborative partnerships fostered by the station. Thank you to the dedicated folks at the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station. You are fostering a legacy of service to ag producers, ranchers and farmers around the state.”

I can think of no better way to conclude than with the dedication in the “125 years of the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station” book by Kruger, who wrote, “Dedicated to the hardworking employees of the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station in times past, present and future, and to all of the supporters who help us get the job done.”