Industry leaders urge better communication at Green River Valley events
Marbleton – Increased communication and participation in local, state and regional aspects of the beef industry came through to attendees at the annual Green River Valley Cattlemen and CattleWomen Associations in Marbleton on March 8.
Wyoming CattleWomen President Gwen Geis, speaking at the CattleWomen’s Annual Meeting at Marbleton’s Southwest Pioneers Senior Center, stated that the state organization not only would like more membership but needs women in the beef industry to communicate their stories.
“We need to spread the word about the benefits of beef,” Geis said, citing reports that even beef raised with growth hormones “has less estrogen in it than a head of cabbage. We’ve got to share that story. Because if we don’t do it, nobody is going to do it for us.”
It is especially important to get beef’s positive message through to the millennials, she said.
“Be an advocate for beef. That’s the one biggest thing we can do,” Geis said. “We’ve got to have one voice.”
At the Cattlemen’s business meeting, held at the Marbleton Town Hall, Wyoming Stock Growers Association Executive Vice President Jim Magagna also brought up his quest for new membership in the lobbying organization.
He recently returned from a trip to Sacramento, Calif., where he served on the National Forests Planning Commission, noting the Bridger-Teton National Forest will probably be the first to get its use plan reviewed and likely revised.
“Local governments’ strength should be up front in these processes,” he said.
Magagna relayed the organization’s involvement in a long list of issues that affect ranchers and their bottom line, including grazing, water, wolves and legislation.
He said that he is dismayed to find “less camaraderie” and “a reluctance to listen to other sides” among Wyoming legislators when they meet in Cheyenne and discuss potential bills.
“I see this more and more,” Magagna said. “‘It’s my way or the highway.’ It almost reminds me of looking at Congress, and I hope we don’t keep going down that path.”
Pinedale rancher and Representative Albert Sommers agreed that a “strident segment” can shape every bill, especially those affecting ranchers.
“If we want to get anything done in Cheyenne, we have to build relationships,” he said.