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New Videos Examine Open Space Values in Wyoming Agriculture

December 4, 2015
bison grazing
A bison ranch was one of the settings for the Farm Meets Function videos. (UW Photo)

Wyoming agricultural producers in eight new videos of the Farm Meets Function project offer thoughts on weeds, water, what they’re growing -- plus wildlife and non-crop habitats in agricultural landscapes.

Locations include a bison ranch, a vineyard, a 2,000-acre family agribusiness and high tunnels where salad greens grow at 8,500 feet.

“One of our goals was to represent a diversity of operations,” says project originator Randa Jabbour, assistant professor of agroecology at the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The videos and website ( invite visitors to think more broadly about the role of agriculture in a state where 93 percent of privately owned land is classified agricultural. 

“You can see how large-scale, small-scale, organic and non-organic producers feel about the land and the constraints they face,” Jabbour says.

Videographer Coner Mullen contributed an artist’s eye.

“Randa, it’s OK for the videos to be beautiful and educational,” he told Jabbour during project planning.

Interviews took place last summer on porches, an open tailgate and under cottonwoods, often with birds and insects offering a running commentary. Zoe Nelson, seasonal technician, conducted four of the interviews and developed the Farm Meets Function website.

The website describes ecosystem “services” (which are the “functions”) encompassed by different habitat types on Wyoming operations (“the farms”).

Ecosystem services include food, fiber and fuel production, soil conservation, water quality, recreation and historic sites. Habitat types include wetlands, grasslands, forest and riparian zones along creeks and rivers.

Farm Meets Function was made possible by the Wyoming Open Spaces Initiative with funding from the Walton Family Foundation.

Contact Jabbour at (307) 766-3439 or for more information.

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