Women in ag, Marincic combines interests in career path
Pinedale – “After I received my associate’s degree at Laramie County Community College (LCCC,) I came home and starting working horses for people. There’s a need for good, solid ranch horses around here, and I started doing day work and range riding for different associations and BLM and forest allotments,” explains Nikki Marincic of her start in breaking horses and day working
“I have a core group of about six outfits that call me regularly, and another eight outfits that call at least five times a year when they need extra help,” notes Marincic, who says each of her core employers calls two or three days a month.
“It’s really fun, and what I like best about day working is seeing so many different places and ranches. I get to see so many things that different people do on their operations, and the tricks they’ve come up with. I’ve learned things that work really well, and also some things that don’t work well, yet people continue to do them year after year,” notes Marincic.
Day work ties in nicely with riding colts or problematic older horses, which is Marincic’s focus. She says she only takes four horses a month to ensure she keeps her quality up.
“I like to take the horse to wherever he needs to be, rather than just quit after so much time because I have so many others to work with. It’s something that’s a lot of fun for me, and if I got beyond four a month it becomes more of a job, and I don’t want that,” explains Marincic.
In addition to breaking horses and doing day work, Marincic also helps her father with vehicle windshield repairs, drives a school bus, is a 4-H leader, helps with her local youth group and is the secretary of the Green River Valley Cattlemen’s Association.
“Driving the school bus keeps me busy during the winter, but I still get a hunting day, Christmas break and spring break, plus six hours of my day to day work in the fall and spring. It works out really well, and as long as the people I day work for are willing to work with my schedule, everything goes great,” notes Marincic.
She adds that seeing new parts of the county and knowing where different families live is another thing she really enjoys about driving the bus. “I can find my way around really well, and enjoy seeing places I wouldn’t have a reason to go by otherwise,” says Marincic.
Being a 4-H Leader for the Daniel Dandies Community 4-H Club and the Daniel Feeders also keeps Marincic involved with youth in the community. She has also “tried” to be a cooking leader, and laughs as she says her group learned a lot of what not to do.
“With 4-H I’ve kept up on my livestock showing and fitting and judging skills. I’ve applied a lot of what I learned in school, in terms of feeding and nutrition, and I’ve been able to expand on a lot of things I knew from my 4-H experience,” comments Marincic.
“It’s nice to be able to really help kids. Last year I had all the kids build resumes. Even the eight-year-olds had a resume. Granted, they were somewhat primitive, but they have one.
“We talk about how to do an interview, and I always make sure my kids sound professional, because they’ll need to know how explain themselves in a professional manner in the future. I do those things because I’ve been through situations where I needed a resume and didn’t have one,” explains Marincic.
She adds that proper documentation is another thing she stresses. “You can use all the things you do in 4-H – community service, activities, awards, recognitions and leadership to build your resume. Having that documented makes it easy to build a good resume.”
Another aspect of her leadership role is discussing what kids want to be when they grow up.
“I had one girl who wanted to get her degree in American Studies and work in a museum, but she had never held an inside job. I advised her to try an inside job over the summer, and she found out she hates it and doesn’t want to work inside. It’s nice to have had those same experiences recently in my own life, and to be able to apply them to helping kids,” says Marincic.
Through her role in the Cattlemen’s Association Marincic has met many people from areas she doesn’t see on a regular basis.
“It’s been a very interesting and educational experience, because most of the members are older than I am and there are many people with whom I wouldn’t otherwise have a lot of contact,” she says. “I’ve met and visited with people from all over the area about their operations and the history of different parts of the country. I’ve also met different members of the Wyoming Livestock Board and some of our state representatives and their field representatives.”
Marincic’s future plans include returning to school to finish her bachelor’s degree in animal science, and then apply for vet school.
“I love doing day work, but there’s no guarantee it will be there next year. A lot of the core people I work for have kids or grandkids coming up and just won’t need the help in a few years. I still want to train horses in the future, but I don’t want that to ever feel like a job. I want to maintain that as something I do a couple at a time to make sure they turn out really well. It’s about quality for me with training horses.
“Because of that, I’m going to UW in January to continue my education, then will probably apply for vet school at Colorado State University. I hope to eventually be a large animal vet and move back home,” says Marincic.
Heather Hamilton is editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.