Wool Growers hires new executive director
Casper – The Wyoming Wool Growers Association (WWGA) announced this week that Amy Wallop Hendrickson has been selected as the new executive director of the association.
Hendrickson, a Wyoming native, is prepared to return to Wyoming and delve into promoting Wyoming’s sheep industry.
“I grew up in the Sheridan and Big Horn area,” says Hendrickson. “My father had a ranch that my brother now owns in Big Horn. We raised beef cattle and polo ponies.”
Her family still ranches in Big Horn, and Hendrickson returns to Wyoming as often as she can.
Hendrickson first moved out of Wyoming following high school. She attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English.
“Since I was a teenager, I have wanted to go back to Wyoming, but when I graduated from college, I couldn’t find a job,” she says. “I came to Washington, D.C. to find a job.”
In Washington, D.C., she worked for the American Recreation Coalition, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service and American Horse Council.
“I was with the American Horse Council for nearly 20 years,” Hendrickson explains. “I left my job with the American Horse Council to get a master’s degree in biomedical science policy and advocacy from Georgetown University.”
Currently, Hendrickson works for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), where she interfaces with the commissioners, secretaries and directors of agriculture departments in all 50 states.
“I have an extensive career in legislative and regulatory affairs, as well as with the animal agriculture industry,” she says. “I work on international trade, animal health and agriculture infrastructure, including ag labor.”
While she didn’t grow up in the sheep industry, she notes that her work with the American Sheep Industry Association has increased her awareness of the issues facing sheep producers.
“I am certainly very aware of the issues of predator control and the Bighorn sheep versus domestic sheep issues,” Hendrickson explains.
Using her experience, she comments that there are a number of things that she will learn in the beginning of the position, and she is excited to learn about the intricacies of the sheep industry that she is unfamiliar with.
“I have been waiting to find a job in Wyoming that would provide an opportunity to use the skills I have gained over the years to work for an industry that I would be happy to represent,” Hendrickson comments. “The Wyoming Wool Growers is an organization I am excited to be a part of.”
While Hendrickson won’t begin her job with WWGA until Nov. 1, she has begun thinking about what she will do in Wyoming.
“I’d like to help to raise the confidence in the WWGA,” says Hendrickson.
Hendrickson recognizes that it will be important to get to know the people involved in the association and Wyoming’s sheep industry.
“I have a lot of experience with small associations,” she continues. “I know how hard it is for member associations to maintain membership and keep going, especially in the face of a lot of adversity that the sheep industry is facing.”
“I hope I can be a voice for Wyoming sheep producers,” Hendrickson emphasizes. “My goal is to be a voice for them, their concerns and their needs.”
In addition, Hendrickson comments that she looks forward to working with the members of Wyoming’s sheep industry, the WWGA board and Wyoming citizens.
Hendrickson will begin working with WWGA on Nov. 1, after she completes her work in Washington, D.C. with NASDA.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” Hendrickson says. “I plan to work very hard for WWGA, and I look forward to meeting everyone.”
“We have made an excellent choice,” comments WWGA President Peter John Camino. “Amy is going to put the Wyoming Wool Growers back on the map.”