Stan and Mary Flitner co-winners of the Agricultural Citizen of the yearWritten by Del Tinsley
Stan and Mary Flitner co-winners of the Agricultural Citizen of the year
August 8, 1998
Shell – Just being nominated for the Wyoming Agriculture Citizen of the Year is an award in itself. This year’s nominations were especially tough as the award grows in popularity. Stan and Mary Flitner of Shell are very deserving of this award. They are lifetime residents of the Wyoming ranching community. They raised four children who share their parents’ commitment to Wyoming and the agricultural community. Stand and Mary were born, raised and educated n Wyoming, both attended the University of Wyoming. Stan was raised on the family ranch at Shell and Mary on the family ranch at Big Piney. They were married in 1963 after college and have resided at the Diamond Tail Ranch as owners for the past 35 years. Stan and Mary were nominated for this award because they were and still area team that has made a lasting impression on Wyoming agriculture. Their modesty and willingness to set personal gratification aside for the good of the industry and state is unsurpassed.
One of the outstanding accomplishments Stand made to the agriculture industry was while serving a two-year term as president of the Wyoming Stock Growers. Stand formed the Open Dialogue for Open Spaces Group. At this time the environmental and agriculture communities were at odds with each other over grazing and management of the land issues. Stan, as chairman, made a very bold move to invite “the enemy” to the discussion table, drawing criticism from both sides. Today this dialogue continues in enhancing awareness and understanding between the environmental community and Wyoming’s good agricultural stewards of the land and resources.
Every spring the Diamond Tail ranch trails their cattle to the mountain to summer pasture, during the height of tourist season, up one of the busiest highways in Wyoming, a gateway to Yellowstone Park. The traffic delay was always a problem to travellers and cowhands until Mary developed a brochure explaining the ranching industry, for tourists to read while waiting for the cattle to pass.
Mary served a six-year term on the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission. She became a liaison for many viewpoints throughout Wyoming regarding natural resources and agriculture. As a commissioner, Mary supported the Society of Range Management, Greybull Days Celebration, Greybull Public Library, Wyoming Bow hunters, cancer research, Greybull Art League, Cody Future Famers of America, Wapiti school project, Ag in the Classroom, UW Cliff and Martha Hansen Teaching Area, Wyoming Conservation Association, WSGA Open Dialogue for Open Spaces, Ranch A Preservation, Green River Valley Museum, various 4-H clubs, hunting, wildlife and sportsmen’s groups, Historic Red School project in Shell, and Holistic Resource Management.
Mary has worked with the Shell Community Hall Board of Directors for 30 years. It is a project designed to preserve the historic community hall and the social center for the community. She also serves on the Greybull School Board, the Shell Valley Planning Group, and Big Horn County Library Board.
Stan and Mary were 4-H leaders for 15 years and sponsor/advisors for the Wyoming Jr. Hereford Association in the 1970’s.
Stan was responsible for the Wyoming Take Charge program sponsored jointly with the University of Wyoming Extension Service. This was a volunteer economic development group, which served numerous communities to show that Ag and rural people are major components of local Wyoming communities.
Mary served on the Wyoming State Bar Board of Professional Responsibility, Governor Sullivan’s Intergovernmental Judicial Review Committee, and the Wyoming Leadership, Education and Development program from 1984 to 1986, and a Wyoming Leadership, Education and Development program participant.
Stan is on the Wyoming State Grazing Board and was a participant in Governor Sullivan’s Wyoming Model, to develop a solution to rangeland resource conflicts. In 1995, Stand was selected to meet with President Clinton regarding public land uses in Wyoming.
Stan and Mary are members of the Big Horn Permittees Association and have initiated a Coordinated Resource Management Program in 1986, which is ongoing. They are members of the American Quarter Horse Association, Holistic Resource Management organization, Wyoming Hereford Association, and the American Hereford Association.
Stand and Mary have been accepting and making changes in their ranching operation to survive financial hardships. They converted from a sheep to a cattle and Quarter Horse operation, divided one operation into two, included farming in their operation, and began outfitting and guiding.
Through their leadership and tireless donated hours of serving agriculture Wyoming is the winner of its future will b e better because of Stand and Mary’s commitment to the industry.