Sometimes we get hung up on the negative aspects that surround our lives, and we can take for granted or neglect to recognize the positive events that are here all along. Those positive events are always the result of hard work and the willingness to step out and take a risk, and all positive events are usually the result of good leadership.
Such is the case in the ongoing treatment of the grasshopper infestation mainly affecting eastern Wyoming this year. While it is still too early to fully assess the results of the treatment program, early reviews look good. What appeared to be a real train wreck in the works for most of Wyoming now looks to be only minimum forage loss to grasshoppers, and that didn’t happen by luck or chance.
As we all remember, in 2009 we had a cold, wet and late spring where the grasshopper hatch came all at once in early June. Many areas in the state were hit hard, and we all wondered what was in store for 2010, but some great leadership around the state tempered our fears.
If anyone wasn’t before, they’re now aware of the long-standing great work of our Wyoming Weed and Pest Council. The Council’s Board of Directors is composed of county Weed and Pest Supervisors and board members and is coordinated by Slade Franklin of the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. If anyone wonders why Wyoming doesn’t have the acres of invasive species or weeds of our neighboring states, we only have this council and our local Weed and Pest Districts to thank for their successes not only on our private lands, but also on public lands. These actions, combined with the coordinated efforts by BLM and USDA/APHIS, the State Lands Office and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, state legislators, private landowners, the University of Wyoming and many others, are the result of the Council’s success.
We claim the grasshopper treatment actions a success first for the coordination with all the parties involved, and second for the combined funding to get it off the ground. Here in Wyoming, working together is a not new concept. We’ve done it for years, and maybe we now take it for granted. We realize funding a project this large is quite an undertaking, and we know how to deal with the public lands requirements, like writing an environmental assessment, and the whole NEPA process is huge, but APHIS really helped on that.
The next time you call your local Weed and Pest District to report weeds, give them and others a big thank you. This was a great Wyoming effort.
Another event that took place last week and required leadership and risk taking was the first sale for the newly formed video cattle auction Cattle Country Video, owned and managed by Lex and Shawn Madden and Michael Schmitt of Torrington. The sale was held in Cheyenne and included 51,000 head of calves and yearlings. Talk about good timing and great proof of the trust and faith placed in Lex, Shawn and Michael by area cattle producers. We wish them great success.