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UW Extension Leads Grape-Growing Symposium in Lander Sept. 17

September 1, 2022
people in a vineyard listening to a speaker
Participants at a 2021 workshop in Sheridan listen to a presentation on starting grape vines. A grape-growing symposium is scheduled Saturday, Sept. 17, at Central Wyoming College’s campus in Lander, located at 120 Enterprise Blvd. (UW Extension Photo)

University of Wyoming Extension will offer a one-day educational program on growing grapes in Wyoming Saturday, Sept. 17, at Central Wyoming College’s campus in Lander, located at 120 Enterprise Blvd.

Led by UW Extension Educator Jeremiah Vardiman, the symposium will provide attendees with the information needed to start their own vineyards as well as a hands-on demonstration at a local operation.

Vardiman, an agriculture and natural resource extension educator based in Powell, says that, although the event is designed with beginners in mind, “anyone who is interested in growing grapes, is currently growing grapes or who wants to expand their knowledge of grapes, is welcome to attend.”

The classroom session begins at 8 a.m. and will focus on the basics of growing grapes in Wyoming. Featured topics include Wyoming soils and climate; variety selection; site selection and vineyard establishment; and grapes for landscaping value.

Lunch, as well as refreshments in the morning and afternoon, is included in the $35 registration fee.

In the afternoon, participants will tour a local vineyard. This will be a good opportunity to take the discussion outdoors and see what growers are doing in the area, Vardiman says. On site, attendees will learn about planting vines, training and pruning, pest management and harvest timing.

The symposium concludes at 5 p.m.

Growing grapes is a new venture in Wyoming, but interest is on the rise, Vardiman notes. He says it is feasible to cultivate grapes in many parts of the state. The main requirement is that the growing season must include a frost-free period.

Currently, vineyards are cultivated in Cheyenne, Torrington and Huntley in the southeast portion of the state; Casper, Riverton and Lander in central Wyoming; and Sheridan and nearby communities in northern Wyoming. Powell and Worland also have climates suitable for grape production.

Funded by a grant from the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, the symposium is UW Extension’s second 2022 grape-growing workshop.

To register for the event, visit www.bit.ly/wygrapes. For more information, email Vardiman at jvardima@uwyo.edu.

About University of Wyoming Extension

Since 1914, UW Extension has provided lifelong learning opportunities to Wyoming citizens across the state. With roots in agricultural education, UW Extension supports rural communities facing contemporary challenges and changes. UW Extension brings the university’s resources to each of the state’s 23 counties and the Wind River Indian Reservation. To learn more about UW Extension, call (307) 766-5124 or visit www.uwyo.edu/uwe.

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