We Can See the Future in Our YouthWritten by Wyoming Stock Growers Association
With the increasing age of many agriculturalists across the state and nation, the future of the cattle industry and many ranches across our state has been the topic of interest for many years. Like many family-owned businesses, whether in town or in rural areas, a plan for the future is essential and with that, our youth being the cornerstone to success.
In 2015, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) started the succession process knowing that the future may be uncertain, but the people are not. This process would help the youth in the association or anyone who is just starting in the agricultural industry learn, grow and become successful and involved leaders. The inaugural group of 20 individuals from across the state started the Young Producers Assembly in December 2015.
This assembly was formed to create a way for young cattle producers who are members of either WSGA or the Wyoming CattleWomen (WCW) to gather together to create camaraderie among each other through meetings and family events, find, evaluate and create solutions to issues that the younger generations feel are important and create a foundation of assembly members who are involved and will eventually stand before the WSGA or WCW membership as educated and strong leaders who will foster the next generation.
The Young Producers Assembly (YPA) is working closely with the WSGA staff, officers and members to create strong group who is correctly represented in WSGA for future opportunities, representation and voting. Even those members who do not have a voting membership will have their voice heard clearly through this assembly, which is an important factor to the youth in both organizations.
“Our goal for the Young Producer Assembly is to secure the future of Wyoming Stock Growers, Wyoming CattleWomen and Wyoming’s agriculture,” YPA Chair Kendall Robert’s explained. “It’s time for all of us to come to the table and find a means to increased membership, have open discussion of issues involving all generations, build on the importance of policy and leadership and ultimately recognize how it affects Wyoming agriculture today and beyond.”
This assembly is open to anyone who is a dues-paying member of either organization, and collegiate students are welcome to join the group through the Youth Joint membership.
“We feel that agriculture has a unique opportunity because the term ‘young’ has a broad meaning,” states WSGA Communications Director and YPA Secretary Haley Lockwood. “Everyone’s opinion, no matter of age, matters, and we want that voice to be heard. I think many people would be surprised to know a kid in their twenties and thirties provides a nutritious and safe beef product for Americans to enjoy and keeps Wyoming’s open spaces alive.”