Page 10



production agriculture are truly lucky to be doing what we do,” RealRancher Dustin Cushman from Lusk, Wyoming, said in a post on You’ll hear funny and amazing stories from ranching families who have been on the land for generations. You’ll stand beside them as they watch over their livestock, ensure the health of the land and perform tasks you’d never dream of doing yourself. From laughter to drama to simply experiencing the everyday miracles of agriculture, you’ll find yourself captivated and drawn into a world you never before had access to. follows five Wyoming rural communities across America’s least populated state. Venture west to Boulder The Wyoming Stock Growers Association celebrates the animal where massive cattle drives are a biannual sight. Head on east to husbandry and environmental achievements of the state’s Shoshoni where they’ll teach you a thing or two about castrating ranchers each year at the Environmental Stewardship Tour. The calves. Then sidle up north to Kaycee where the Johnson 2010 recipients of the award were Ron and Linda Heward of the County crowd will give you a unique taste of the home of famed 7E Ranch in Shirley Basin. Photo courtesy of the Wyoming Stock musician Chris LeDoux. On your way back down swing over Growers Association. east again into Lusk where the 4-H program and area ranchers and ranchland are disappearing. Studies have predicted that 48 unite to rear the next generation of land stewards. As you finally million people will be added to the West by 2050, resulting in head south you’ll hit Baggs where the community offers stories 26 million acres of open space being ruined by residential and from the sagebrush plains to the high mountain pastures. commercial development. Of the 11 western states, Wyoming is The blog resulted from the efforts of Community Dialogues for expected to have the third highest growth rate. These pressures Rural Wyoming (CDRW), an initiative of the Wyoming Stock for land conversions are compounded by low profit margins Growers Association and Encana Oil and Gas, USA. CDRW from ranching, the increasing average age of ranchers, a lack was created as a compliment to the Governor’s conferences of recruitment of new individuals into the profession and high on “Building the Wyoming We Want,” which found that inheritance taxes. As the land becomes fragmented, the wildlife Wyomingites overwhelmingly value the state’s agriculturists. habitat, watersheds and scenic splendor sustained by Wyoming CDRW traveled to ranches for generations are being swept away. these five rural towns to listen to local voices and That is why the Stock Growers Ag Land Trust works so diligently encourage them to turn to protect these critical lands. Conservation easements are one their visions for their of the tools used to work with individuals and communities communities into actions. to maintain working ranches and agricultural landscapes. The consensus across Conservation easements are voluntary agreements that limit the the state was a need to amount and type of development that can occur on a property. tell rural and agricultural Easements are tailored to fit each specific property and each stories to a broader landowner’s differing needs and goals. Landowners continue audience. The Kukowski family works on their to retain all rights of property ownership to ensure the land is ranch in Sheridan County. The maintained as ranchland and open space for future generations. “Agricultural people need dedicated staff of the Wyoming Stock to disseminate truthful Growers Association works to advocate The Stock Growers Ag Land Trust’s work is supported by and positive messages on issues affecting the cattle industry, generous donors who are committed to preserving Wyoming’s Wyoming agriculture and rural about the agriculture community living. Photo by Crystal western heritage. For more information or to donate, visit www. industry to correct or contact us at 307.772.8751 or misperceptions,” a CDRW Lawrence. participant said. What you always wanted to know about the production of your food CDRW is implemented by WSGA and supported through funds from Encana Oil and Gas, the Wyoming Community Get ready to step outside your offices and suburban homes into Foundation and the Wyoming Beef Council. the lives of real Wyoming ranchers and farmers. Take a trip to the rolling hill prairies, sweeping plains and mountain vistas For more information on participating in Community Dialogues where these hard-working Americans fight to survive and thrive for Rural Wyoming initiatives or contributing to www. on the land they care for and call home., call WSGA Outreach Coordinator Liz LeSatz at 307-638-3942 or WLM The amazing stories of everyday agriculturists are just a click away at “Those of us involved in

10 Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine | August 2010

Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine Fall 2010  

Our THIRD issue! Covering home, business, community, family, wildlife, athletics, travel and MUCH more throughout the state of WY!