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Individuals awarded during Wyoming Weed and Pest Council’s annual conference 

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

On Nov. 7-9, members of Wyoming’s 23 weed and pest districts gathered at the CAM-PLEX in Gillette for the Wyoming Weed and Pest Council’s (WWPC) 79th Annual Conference. 

Programming at the event included updates on ongoing projects, funding opportunities, member training, council business and educational break-out sessions covering everything from pipeline vegetation and mine reclamation to whitetop research and rodenticides.

“The annual fall conference provides the opportunity for the 23 weed and pest districts to conduct council business and to provide continuing high-quality education opportunities for those working in the field,” notes WWPC. 

Recognizing honorees

During the conference, WWPC also honored four people who have dedicated themselves to the council’s mission of providing unified support for the integrated management of noxious weeds and pests and to protect the economic and ecological resources in the state of Wyoming. 

“We are honored to recognize four outstanding individuals who have gone above and beyond when it comes to weed and pest management,” states WWPC President Don Darnell in a Nov. 28 press release. 

“We are thrilled to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of these hardworking individuals and thank them for everything they do to keep Wyoming wild and beautiful,” he adds.

WWPC member awards

Two WWPC members were among those who received recognition. 

Natrona County Weed and Pest Supervisor Brian Connely was presented with the 2023 Everett Johnson Award. 

This award is given to recognize the service of a district employee who has demonstrated outstanding weed and pest management practices in a Wyoming weed and pest control district. 

Larry Smith, a Campbell County board member and former WWPC president, received the 2023 Archie Lauer Award, which is presented to an outstanding individual who has been a weed and pest board member and made significant contributions to the board and its success.

Individual awards

Two individuals outside of WWPC were also honored for their support to the council and its mission.

The 2023 Guy Haggard Award was presented to Wyoming Department of Agriculture Director Doug Miyamoto, who has provided motivation, friendship, loyalty, camaraderie and support to WWPC and its members. 

Lastly, WWPC honored Dr. Andrew Kniss, a professor of weed science at the University of Wyoming, with the 2023 Harold P. Alley Award. 

This award is given to an individual who has provided support, leadership, motivation and education toward the advancement of pest control programs across the state. 

Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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