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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

Wyoming is Wonderful

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

By Andrew Joannides

Wyo Wonders – formerly known as the Wyoming Stewardship Project – is Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom’s (WAIC) state-standard aligned curriculum, built for elementary students in second through fifth grade. 

It’s built to educate students on Wyoming’s three main revenue sectors – agriculture, minerals and energy and outdoor recreation and tourism. 

Wyo Wonders invokes imagination, critical-thinking and contains real-life, Wyoming-based education. Just as kids can imagine, I want to take a couple minutes and have readers imagine a scenario. 

Envision a classroom where a third grader is busy engaging in real-world challenges of agriculture. Each eight-year-old in this classroom is faced with scenarios of drought, running out of grazing land or even predators threatening their livestock. Imagine them discerning how to be good stewards of their land and their livestock here in Wyoming.

Good news! This isn’t a dreamt-up scenario – this is a reality in Wyoming elementary schools thanks to support from folks like yourself. 

In 2023, Wyo Wonders was used in 181 classrooms around the state of Wyoming. This is a 48 percent growth since 2022. 

Wyo Wonders contains units of lessons to help Wyoming students learn of such challenges at an early age to encourage their creativity to best solve problems. 

In one specific lesson – third-grade agriculture, lesson four – students explore what happens when drought hits an area. How much hay can they grow in a normal year compared to a drought year? Will a rancher be able to feed their livestock during the drought? What can they do if they don’t have enough hay? 

The students will then craft pie charts to reflect the fluctuations of drought years and the ability to produce hay and care for livestock while discussing possible solutions to the questions ranchers ask themselves daily. 

The teacher will invoke discussions for students to find ways the ranchers can be good stewards of their land and livestock. 

As readers well know, drought isn’t the only challenge ranchers face. Predators can be a constant threat to livestock.

Wyo Wonders doesn’t ignore this real-world threat, and instead invites students to grapple with this challenge as individual thinkers and informed problem-solvers – while having some fun too. 

In this classroom scenario, students will head to the gym to play a game of tag. Of course, it’s not ordinary tag, it’s predator-prey tag, where each student assumes the role of a different animal to demonstrate how the interaction of various species within the same area of land will impact population levels for each. 

After the chance to run around and giggle with classmates like all elementary students should, the children will practice their reading skills with a story written specifically for the day’s concepts called “Coyote and Jackrabbit: Finding the Right Balance on the Range.” 

Students then have the chance to bring together all of their ideas on the challenges ranchers assume and how to best face these issues while remaining a proud steward of Wyoming. 

In 2023, roughly 3,620 students were taught Wyo Wonders materials. It’s safe to say these students are going to be better prepared citizens of Wyoming as they continue to go through their individual academic journeys. 

But, to keep growing, we still need financial support. There is a donation envelope inserted in this week’s edition of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. If you would like to support our efforts, please return the envelope to us or donate online at

Those with questions can contact us via phone at 307-369-1749 or via e-mail at 

Individuals can download this free curriculum at at any time. I am proud of this curriculum, and I hope you are too.

Andrew Joannides is the executive director of Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom and he can be contacted at 307-369-1749 or

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