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Guardians of the Grasslands by Liz LeSatz, Wyoming Stock Growers Association Photography provided by the Wyoming Stock Growers Association

The Stock Growers Ag Land Trust recently completed one of the most extensive purchased conservation easements in Wyoming history. The Sommers-Grindstone Conservation Project covers nearly 19,000 acres of historic ranchland and wildlife habitat in Sublette County. Photo courtesy of the Wyoming Stock Growers Ag Land Trust.

state’s livestock producers. It was the second state cattlemen’s organization created in the United States and the first trade association established in the then Wyoming Territory.

A group of cowboys ride the Wyoming range at the turn of the century. The Wyoming Stock Growers Association was formed in 1872, 18 years before Wyoming gained statehood. Photo courtesy of the American Heritage Center.

The Wyoming Stock Growers Association: Protecting the state’s vital agricultural industry Serving as the steadfast “guardians of the grasslands” for nearly 140 years, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) is committed to supporting and advocating for the Wyoming livestock industry. WSGA protects Wyoming’s livestock businesses and families. A dedicated staff led by Executive Vice President Jim Magagna works to advocate on issues affecting the cattle industry, Wyoming agriculture and rural community living. The association lobbies and tracks issues at the state and national levels and works closely with agencies that write regulations affecting the industry. WSGA also participates in litigation on critical issues and works to enhance the public image of the cattle industry. “We work with our members on the front lines to protect and promote the great work they do each day to produce highquality, safe and nutritious food and fiber, while caring for their animals and protecting the environment,” Magagna said. The Wyoming Stock Growers Association was organized on April 4, 1872 to advance and protect the interest of the


Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine | August 2010

Many of the early members lived in places such as Omaha, Chicago, New York and Boston, but the majority were Wyoming men who took an active personal interest in the cattle business. It is the only organization in the state focused entirely on serving the needs of the cattle industry, which is the largest segment of Wyoming’s agricultural production. “As the industry continues to face many age-old issues and new opportunities, we seek to bring a fresh approach to addressing them,” Communications Director Kosha Olsen said. So why is there an organization dedicated solely to the cattle industry? Livestock production is vitally important to Wyoming’s economy and way of life. It is also critical to everyone’s daily life. From toothpaste to clothes, printer ink to car upholstery, agriculture products are found everywhere. Wyoming agriculturists pitch in a whopping $1 billion to the state’s economy and the U.S. ag industry plops down 20 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. Sixty nine billion dollars in American ag products are exported each year and 15 percent of Americans are employed by agriculture and related industries. American farmers and ranchers account for only two percent of the population, and yet they manage to produce two trillion pounds of food each year. There are 11,000 farms and ranches in Wyoming. The Cowboy State’s farmers and ranchers care for 30.1 million acres, which produce food and fiber, wildlife habitat and keep lands free from development. Wyoming ranchers raise 1.3 million cattle and the cattle industry brings in 61 percent of all Wyoming ag sales. To put it in perspective, Wyoming raises enough beef in a year to produce ½ billion quarter pound hamburgers. Wyoming is also

Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine Fall 2010  

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

Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine Fall 2010  

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