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Wyoming's First Lady Visits CWC

July 17, 2020

Jennie Gordon stands in front of CWC's mobile meat science lab

Wyoming’s first lady, Jennie Gordon, along with several of her guests, visited Lander and Riverton on July 15. Her visit to Fremont County was part of her Wyoming Hunger Initiative to combat childhood hunger. According to the website, www.nohungerwyo.org, food insecurity affects 12 million children in the U.S. and about 23,500 children in Wyoming. 

Jennie Gordon visits with CWC employees Mark Nordeen and Beth MontieroJennie Gordon visits the Alpine Science Institute

Gordon’s tour began at Central Wyoming College’s Alpine Science Institute outside. She viewed CWC’s new mobile meat science lab that was funded by the Wyoming Works program. This mobile meat science lab will allow CWC and its partners to educate students about meat processing and give them hands-on experience to move easily into the workforce. The CWC mobile meat science lab complements the planned Rocky Mountain Complex for Ag and Equine Science on CWC’s Riverton campus.

“Our nation’s, and in fact, the world’s food systems were already faltering,” said Jack Schmidt, CWC’s local food liaison. “The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare our need to nurture and support the small and mid-size producers that want to sell locally.” Schmidt further noted, “Through the mobile meat science lab, CWC helps develop a vibrant local food system to ensure access to nutritious food, and also creates jobs and increases the livability for all of our communities.”

After a complete walk through and quick tutorial on how the mobile lab works, Gordon toured the facilities at the ASI and visited with community members about local food programs that align the Wyoming Hunger Initiative program, “Food From the Farm & Ranch.” This program will utilize food from local farms and ranches to help combat food insecurities. Additionally, Gordon learned about CWC’s upcoming Wind River Farm Business Incubator and renovation of the ASI’s historic apple orchard with permaculture guilds.

 

While it was fun to show off our new mobile meat unit and our amazing facilities, the best part of Mrs. Gordon’s visit were the conversations with so many folks working on the same issue - our need to bolster our local food systems. These included representatives with the Wind River Food Sovereignty Project, the Wyoming Food Coalition, the University of Wyoming’s College of Agriculture and Riverton Local Food Hub. As well as local producers from Second Street Farm, Dandelion Floral, Wyoming Cowboy Cuts and the Genuine Meats processor. A quick trip to the Riverton farmer’s market was the perfect end to the day. ”

Beth Montiero, CWC Foundation executive director

In a press release from WyoToday.com, Gordon said it was “an honor to be here to learn about the local food movement in Fremont County and what the college is doing. I’ve learned a lot,” she said. “It’s amazing.”