Meeteetse FFA Chapter members are (seated, left to right) Melanie Riley, Jacob Allen, Jasmine Gould, Shawn Shepperson, Ryan Geving, Ashton Abarr, Caitlynn Hiser, Karlie Renner, Anastasia Corbett, Brooklynn Graybill and Levi Gitlitz.Standing (from left) are Seth Bennett, Cole Burbank, Carter Johnson, Colton Curtis, Jack Fremlin, Lucas Lamb, Dalton Abarr, Braenn Smith, Scott Sessions, Annie Barker, Owen Burbank, Brent Riley, Josh Graybill, Tyler Geving and advisor Louis Abarr. Not Pictured: Cheyenne Foote, Haley Sessions, Wilson Renner, Mati May, Kirwin Johnson, Levi Lamb, William Justice, Pacen Zeller, Trevor Burbank and Nick Anderson.

Meeteetse FFA’ers finish strong at state convention

MEETEETSE — FFA members from Meeteetse High School brought home plaques, state degrees and scholarships at the recent Wyoming State FFA Convention. The chapter was recognized as a Bronze Chapter.
“Overall it was a great experience for our chapter and our kids are excited to improve for next year,” said chapter advisor Louis Abarr. “I’m very proud of their hard work and dedication while preparing for State Convention and very excited for those of our students who were recognized for their achievements. It was a great first year experience for me as well and gives me areas to build on for next year.”
Receiving recognition were:
• Ashton Abarr — $900 general FFA Scholarship
• Levi Gitlitz — 1st place Agriscience fair Division III Food Products and Processing Systems
• Wilson Renner and Ryan Geving received state FFA degrees.
• ENR (Environmental and Natural Resources Team) 6th overall. Team members were Shawn Shepperson (third high overall individual), Scott Sessions and Lucas Lamb
• Junior High Horse Judging — 4th overall. Team members were Gracin Curtis, Matilyn May, Braenn Smith (third high overall individual) and Tyler Geving
• Ag Mechanics — 14th place of 32 teams competing. Team members were Ryan Geving (tied for High Individual overall ID portion), Seth Bennett, Lucas Lamb (tied for High Individual overall ID portion), and Wilson Renner
• Ag Sales — 9th place. Team members were Karlee Renner, Jacob Allen, Melanie Riley and Anastasia Corbett
• Vet Science — 9th place of 25. Team members were Ashton Abarr, Haley Sessions, Jasmine Gould, Shawn Shepperson
• High School Horse Team — 17th place of 33. Team members were Cheyenne Foote, Brooklyn Graybill, Anasasia Corbett and Annie Barker
• Greenhand Quizbowl (no results yet, were not in top 6) — members were Dalton Abarr, Logan Raper, Cole Burbank, Levi Gitlitz and Owen Burbank.

At a nursery in Njoro, Kenya, ARS plant pathologists Matt Rouse and Yue Jin score wheat plants for their responses to infection with Ug99 rust. The scientists spend hours every day walking the experimental plots and rating thousands of wheat lines.

Looking to wheat’s wild ancestors
to combat an evolving threat, rust

By Dennis O’Brien

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have pinpointed the location of a gene in a little-known ancient grass that could help save one of the world’s most important cereal crops from an unrelenting fungus.
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists Matt Rouse and Yue Jin, with the agency’s Cereal Disease Research Laboratory in St. Paul, Minn., found the gene while studying the DNA of ancient grasses. They were searching for genes that could make wheat more resistant to Ug99 (Puccinia graminis), a type of stem rust that is constantly evolving. ARS is USDA’s principal intramural scientific research agency, and this work supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security.
Ug99 has not yet been found in the United States, but it is spreading overseas and is considered a potential threat to up to 90 percent of the world’s wheat. Genes in wheat that seem to offer immunity one growing season become susceptible to newly developed “races” the next. Ug99 was first reported by scientists in Uganda in 1999, and controlling it has since become an international priority.
Scientists often study a crop’s wild relatives for genes that will confer resistance to pests and pathogens. But what makes the efforts of Rouse and Jin noteworthy is the diversity of grasses being studied. They include einkorn wheat, an ancient variety still cultivated in parts of the Mediterranean; emmer wheat, found in archeological sites and still growing wild in the Near East; and goatgrass, a wild relative of wheat with genes that breeders have tapped to boost immunity in commercial wheat varieties.
In one study, Rouse and his colleagues at Kansas State University and the University of California at Davis focused on locating a gene in einkorn wheat that confers near immunity to Ug99. They focused on locating a gene, known as Sr35, which was previously discovered in einkorn. But the exact location of this gene in the plant’s vast genome remained a mystery. The wheat genome is huge, containing nearly two times more genetic information than the human genome.
To find Sr35’s position, the researchers sequenced areas of the plant’s genome where they suspected it was located. In one set of mutant plants, they knocked out the cloned sequences and found it made those plants susceptible to Ug99. In another set they inserted the same sequences into previously susceptible plants and found it made them resistant.
The results, published in Science in 2013, marked the first time that scientists managed to isolate and clone a Ug99 resistance gene. The achievement should make it easier to insert useful genes into wheat varieties.

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Wyoming Trivia

State Nickname: Equality State, Cowboy State

State Flower: Indian Paintbrush

State Bird: Western Meadowlark

State Tree: Cottonwood

State Gemstone: Jade

State Mammal: Bison

State Fish: Cutthroat Trout

State Reptile: Horned Toad

State Dinosaur: Triceratops

State Sport: Rodeo

State Coin: Sacajawea Golden Dollar Coin

State Grass: Western Wheatgrass

Area: 97,914 Square Miles

Date of Statehood: July 10, 1890

State #: 44

State name is from a Delaware Indian word meaning "mountains and valleys alternating"

First National Park: Yellowstone 1872

First National Monument: Devil's Tower 1906

First state to give women the right to vote

First National Forest: Shoshone National Forest

First state to have a country public library system

First state to have a woman governor Nellie Tayloe Ross 1925

First artificially lit evening football game in Midwest 1925

First town in nation to be governed entirely by women: Jackson 1920 to 1921

First business west of the Missouri River: Trading post at Fort William


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