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Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station Celebrates 125 Years

Laramie Farm
W.H. Fairfield, superintendent of the Laramie Experiment Station Farm, stands in a turnip patch there in 1895. B.C. Buffum Papers, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming

In 1891, the Wyoming Agriculture and Experiment Station (WAES) and its affiliated branch stations were created as part of the University of Wyoming’s land-grant mission. As the research branch for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, WAES conducts fundamental and applied research on agricultural, natural and community resource issues related to the current and future needs of Wyoming, the region, the nation and the world. Throughout 2016, the WAES celebrated its 125th anniversary. Here are a few fun facts about this important unit. 

125 years: In honor of the anniversary, David Kruger, agricultural liaison librarian at UW, wrote the book 125 Years of the Agricultural Experiment Station 1891–2016. The book offers photos and narrative chronicling the rich history of WAES.

Outstanding Researchers: Each year, WAES recognizes its researchers with the Outstanding Research Awards and Early Career Research Achievement Awards. You can watch videos about the winners and their research and learn on the WAES website.

14 Million: In the last three years, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources faculty members and researchers have secured roughly 16.7 percent of the university’s external funding, averaging $14 million per year in external awards. They also filed an average of eight patents, inventions or software disclosures per year. Agriculture research and development is a great investment, as outlined by Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics Associate Professor Matt Andersen’s study that revealed $30 in benefits are realized for each dollar spent on agricultural research and development.

Pistol and Pete: To celebrate the 125th anniversary, WAES acquired a team of Haflinger horses named Pistol and Pete who have been making appearances across the state pulling a refurbished sheep wagon. The team plans to keep in shape for next year’s parade circuit by pulling a hay wagon over the winter, delivering feed to cattle.

14,583 acres: The locations of WAES’ affiliated branch stations have changed over the years, and today’s four sites are Powell, Sheridan, Lingle and Laramie. Together, they total 14,583 acres and include research greenhouses, rangeland resources, livestock facilities, laboratory animal facilities, a seed lab, and specialty, dryland and irrigated crops.

Big Impacts: To highlight the impact of the research taking place, each year WAES publishes an impact statement on select research. The 2016 statement highlights studies using snowmobiles and geophysics to measure snow water, analyzing insect pest management in alfalfa, studying the Brucella ovis bacterial pathogen in sheep, examining the economic benefits of off-road vehicle recreation in Wyoming, and promoting positive aging outcomes in Wyoming communities by mapping populations and assets.

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