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Guest Opinions

Agricultural Experiment Station Continues Producer-Oriented Focus

Written by Bret Hess

By Bret W. Hess, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Associate Dean of Research, Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station Director


The University of Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station (WAES) has been making great strides to be responsive to producers in Wyoming. Recent efforts have centered on disseminating information, reaching out to gather input and funding producer oriented research projects.

One of the key ways the Experiment Station shares information is by working with its Research and Extension (R&E) Centers to host Field Days throughout the summer months. This year’s field days are July 14 at the Sheridan R&E Center, July 16 at the Powell R&E Center, Aug. 20 at the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture R&E Center (SAREC) near Lingle and Aug. 27 at the Laramie R&E Center. The public is invited to join us, and those who attend will have the opportunity to participate in field tours, listen to presentations and visit with researchers about their research. Participants will learn about new activities and experiments happening at the Centers as well as on-going research projects. The R&E Center staff work hard to make these events informative and fun for everyone and the feedback has been positive over the years.

Another important step the Experiment Station took to disseminate its work to the public was the annual publication of the Field Days Bulletin starting in 2010. Published in response to stakeholder requests to better inform the public about research conducted at the R&E Centers, the Bulletin summarizes experiments and other activities in a simple standardized format that is reader-friendly. Bulletin reports are not intended to be a comprehensive account of each experiment – instead, two-page peer-reviewed reports hit the highlights of research projects and provide contact information for readers wanting more information. Recently included short format reports provide even briefer descriptions of new and soon to be started projects. Readers are invited to contact researchers directly with questions or to obtain more information about a specific topic. The Bulletin is made available in hardcopy to everyone attending R&E Center field days. Electronic copies of past and current-year editions are available on the publications page of the WAES website at uwyo.edu/uwexpstn/publications.

Readers of the 2014 and 2105 WAES Field Days Bulletin may note a few changes from previous editions. Authors have been asked to indicate which of the Wyoming Production Agriculture Research Priorities (PARP) are addressed in their research. PARP was developed to identify agriculture research needs in Wyoming and its formulation began by soliciting input from R&E Center Advisory Boards. Research topics that producers expressed an interest in formed the basis of an outline for PARP. A distribution list was developed with the help of UW Extension’s Profitable and Sustainable Agricultural Systems State Initiative Team and the Sustainable Management of Rangeland Resources State Initiative Team, along with the major producer associations in Wyoming. With the assistance of Ron Pulley, a retired producer who farmed and ranched near Huntley, the outline was sent for comment to producers throughout the state.

Ron, a long-time supporter of the experiment station, passed away June 26. Ron’s enthusiasm and contributions have been indispensible. Our good friend and colleague will be sorely missed.

Producer comments received in response to the original outline were then incorporated into the first version of PARP. The Experiment Station considers the PARP to be a “living document” and strives to continually update it in response to producer and stakeholder needs and input. Stakeholder listening sessions held around the state over the past year resulted in the second version of PARP, and that version can be found as an appendix in the 2015 Field Days Bulletin. Readers are encouraged to keep a lookout for the most updated version of PARP on our webpage under “Important Links” at uwyo.edu/uwexpstn. Readers should also feel free to contact the Experiment Station  at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if they have suggestions for PARP objectives not currently listed.

Please join us for this year’s Field Days and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station or the Research and Extension Centers in Sheridan, Powell, Lingle or Laramie. You can find more information on our website at uwyo.edu/uwexpstn.