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Gubernatorial hopefuls, ag concerns part of WESTI Ag Days in Worland


Those attending the two-day WESTI Ag Days in Worland, Wyo., can grill a USDA researcher about biochar (charcoal from biomass), listen to two candidates for governor, and hear livestock and farm issues addressed.

They'll even find out who is this year's Big Horn Basin Ag Citizen of the Year.

Sponsored by the Big Horn Basin Ag Ambassadors, Wyoming Extension's Strategically and Technologically Informative (WESTI) Ag Days is Feb. 2 to 3 at the Worland Community Center Complex, 1200 Culbertson Ave. Registration begins each day at 8:30 a.m., and lunch is provided each day.

In the Republican gubernatorial arena, Ron Micheli of Fort Bridger has announced his candidacy for governor, and Matt Mead of Cheyenne has an exploratory committee. Micheli is the featured lunch speaker Feb. 2, and Mead will speak during lunch Feb. 3.

The complete program is accessible by going to www.uwyo.edu/UWAG and clicking on the WESTI Ag Days link. WESTI provides a series of concurrent sessions covering a variety of research-based topics for farmers, ranchers, and those living on a few acres, according to Jim Gill, University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service educator in Worland.

The first day includes information on new Environmental Protection Agency rules affecting agriculture, energy issues and opportunities for agriculture, livestock efficiencies, livestock marketing, organic farming, risk management, irrigation equipment incentives and much more.

Additional presentations include benefits of conservation easements, sugar beet weed management, ag and uncertain times, managing center pivot systems, irrigated pasture management, and livestock feed efficiencies research.

Gill said he is especially excited that one of the premier researchers for producing and using biochar is a presenter. Jim Ippolito, a research soil scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Kimberly, Idaho, will address producers about his work. Biochar is a charcoal-like material created by heating biomass at high temperatures.

The Big Horn Basin Ag Ambassadors Ag Appreciation Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 2 at the Worland Community Center Complex in conjunction with WESTI Ag Days. The Washakie County CowBelles will serve dinner. The Big Horn Basin Ag Citizen of the Year will be announced. Producers are asked to call the Washakie County CES office at 307-347-3431 to reserve tickets.

The Feb. 2 sessions include stocking rates for livestock, food dehydration, horse care and development, seed crop production and more.

For more information about WESTI Ag Days, contact the Washakie County CES office.

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