I’d like to congratulate the team at the Wyoming Livestock Roundup for 25 successful years publishing Wyoming’s leading agricultural newspaper. It seems like just yesterday we were printing the 20th edition of the Roundup. For Del Tinsley and Bill Glanz, I’m sure it seems like just yesterday that they were publishing their first edition from their then headquarters in Worland.
I went to work for the Roundup in 1999. I was fresh out of college, and the publication was making a move from Worland to Casper. I talked to Del Tinsley on the telephone, and the day after college graduation I made my way to Casper for an in-person interview. When I got back to Laramie, Chris and I sold our 1978 Ford pickup so we’d have enough cash to rent a U-Haul and move a little ways north. That was only the beginning of what proved to be a rewarding and enjoyable 10 years.
We moved the Roundup offices three times over the next five years, each move marking a growth in the publication. We shared our first offices in Casper with the Casper Journal. Monday through Thursday we had the job of writing and designing the paper. Come Friday, we were the mail crew, labeling and sorting the publication for delivery. To this day I can recite many Wyoming zip codes from memory. I also know that if you get to the post office after the bulk mail office closes, you can sometimes get your paper on the mail trucks with a little help from the crew on the loading docks. And, if the post office ever cancels Saturday delivery, they’re going to need a switchboard operator to handle the phones on Saturday. There’s a certain group of people out there who expect their Roundup on Saturday, and if it’s not in the box, they’re going to call!
When the Sun family purchased the Roundup in 2004, the publication again grew. I enjoyed the five years I worked for Dennis and the many lessons he shared. Road trips through Sweetwater county with Dennis and the many stories he would share were always enjoyable.
The highlight of my years at the Roundup was the opportunity to explore the state from corner to corner and meet Wyoming ranch families, business people and agricultural leaders. Outside of Cheyenne, in the Iron Mountain community, my grandfather and I visited Merrill Farthing for an interview including tales of early day Wyoming and the family’s pony herd.
Up the South Fork out of Cody I had a chance to visit with the Bales family. High school sweethearts, Art and Shirley, like many ranch folks, were warm, welcoming and had a great story to share. I was impressed by their appreciation for the agricultural life and their community.
In the Nowood Community outside of Ten Sleep, just up the road from the infamous Nowood International Airport, Rob and Phyllis Orchard provided a tour of their beautiful ranch. Keep driving down the gravel road past Rob’s place and you can make your way to the Hendry family’s Clear Creek Cattle Company. My first trip to see Rob and Leslie was in 1999 when they shipped their calves. They’ve welcomed me back several times over the years, and I always enjoy the trip and learn something new.
A week in Evanston provided an opportunity to explore a part of the state I hadn’t before visited. There’s much more to that area than one can see from the interstate, including some wonderful ranch country. Howard Woody shared the story of his younger years and the beginnings of Union Telephone. Richard and Carol Hamilton were wonderful hosts and teachers who frequently welcome guests to their ranch and shared the story of quality stewardship.
That’s only a few of the great interviews over the years. In every corner of this state there are hard working ranch families with a great story to share. Most start the conversation by telling you they haven’t really done much, but soon share a very unique and interesting story. It’s these ranch families who’ve made the Roundup what it is over the years and keep the stories within the paper interesting and informative.
Hats off to the Roundup for helping share Wyoming agriculture’s news and stories for 25 years. May your next 25 years be equally successful!
Jennifer Vineyard Womack is executive director of the Wyoming FFA Foundation and a freelance writer. She can be reached at Womack@Wyoming.com or at 307-351-0730.