It seems like just yesterday I was sitting down to write my first article for the Roundup, a news piece on the late 1990s petition to provide Endangered Species Act protections to the prairie dog. Freshly graduated from the University of Wyoming, I was fairly sure I’d landed my dream job. A decade later, I know my original perception was correct.
While my tenure as the Roundup’s managing editor has come to a close, the memories and friendships I’ve gained will last a lifetime. I’ve come to consider the Roundup team as part of my family. In 1999 Del Tinsley provided me an amazing opportunity, which Dennis continued and broadened when he purchased the publication in 2005. Tracy, Jody, Curt, Denise, Christy, and more recently Paula, have been amazing teammates in our effort to provide quality news and views on a weekly basis. They can rest assured I’ll still be calling a lot, but less frequently to propose projects or talk deadlines. I wish Christy the best as she pursues the countless opportunities that will come her way in the months ahead as she begins her journey as the Roundup’s managing editor.
There are amazing people who live down Wyoming’s backcountry roads. I’ve been fortunate enough to sit at many of your kitchen tables and listen to multi-generational stories of how your ranches came to be, how the quality of your livestock and your resources have improved and how family partnerships “make it happen.” Nearly every ranch family, when asked to participate in an interview responds, “We don’t have much of a story to tell.” Over the years I hope I’ve helped prove that theory wrong from one end of the state to the other.
So, as my five-year-old asked me, “Do you have a job anymore?” I’ll be on board with the Roundup through year’s end. I look forward to helping with our Winter Cattlemen’s Edition featuring Goshen County and writing news articles for the final issues of 2009.
When Jan. 1, 2010 rolls around my attention will turn toward raising funds for and growing the Wyoming FFA Foundation. Through this effort I hope to help broaden and deepen the opportunities available to Wyoming FFA members. I firmly believe the program is our state’s most valuable asset when it comes to raising responsible kids who have marketable skill sets, an ability to set and meet goals and the leadership skills necessary to ensure a positive future for our state and nation.
In addition to my work with the FFA Foundation, I’ve started a graphic design and freelance writing business called Sagebrush Marketing, LLC. Through this venture I’ll compile some ranch histories, taking photographs and, in many ways, continuing to do what I love best. I hope Dennis and Christy will allow me a by-line every once in a while for old time’s sake.
Chris and I, along with our sons Bryce and Joshua, are spending an increasing amount of time in northeast Wyoming ranching with my folks. As all of you know, there’s no finer way to spend the day than with three generations of your family horseback and working as a team. Wyoming agriculture provides a premier opportunity to raise great kids and it’s one we want Bryce and Joshua to experience and appreciate.
I hope to see many of you at the upcoming conventions and at this December’s Range Beef Cow Symposium. Long-term I plan to continue attending these gatherings on behalf of the FFA Foundation and to keep in touch with the many friends I’ve made in Wyoming’s agricultural community.