Agriculture Industry Helps Tourism Deliver on Wyoming’s “Forever West”
For many years, the Wyoming Office of Tourism (WOT) has used the slogan “Forever West” as a way to share, in one brief phrase, what Wyoming has to offer the world. Across the globe, people have developed a love affair with the American cowboy and the Wild West. For many, the West represents a romantic notion of wide open spaces, majestic natural beauty, roaming livestock and individual freedom. They envision a lone cowboy on horseback tending to their livestock and working their ranches until the sun begins to set in the distance. In nearly every ad that WOT places around the country and around the world, the agricultural community is highlighted. It’s deeply rooted in the Wyoming culture and is deservingly celebrated.
The Wyoming Office of Tourism is privileged to be able to share the Cowboy State with the rest of the world, and we are well aware that without private landowners around the state, we wouldn’t have such a beautiful place to present. Many years ago when settlers and homesteaders came to this land, they knew it was something that needed to be treasured and protected.
Things across the prairies of Wyoming haven’t changed much since then. Ranchers and farmers in our state have been phenomenal stewards of our land for centuries. These family operations have preserved the breathtaking countryside that provides visitors with the same views seen over 100 years ago. My grandfather, Elmer Shober, homesteaded in northern Campbell County, and my brother Ron and his wife are proud ranchers still.
It cannot be understated how important the agricultural community is to the tourism industry. We work hard to bring people to the state to give them an authentic western experience. It’s the ranchers and farmers that deliver on that promise. They bring to life what folks imagine seeing when coming to Wyoming. Whether it’s seeing a rancher grabbing a cup of coffee in a small town, visiting a county fair, seeing a cowboy herding his livestock or visiting one of the many ranches, the agricultural community gives visitors the sense of what it’s like to be in a place “Forever West.” It takes people back to simpler times, away from their cell phones and GPS systems and gives them an opportunity to see what it’s like to have limitless freedom and the open space to utilize it.
Rodeo is another way that the WOT gives visitors the chance to see Wyoming in a unique way. They see a sport that is rich in both culture and history. We are proud sponsors of Team Wyoming, which is a group of Wyoming professional cowboys who help to promote our state through rodeo.
With the help of Team Wyoming, folks get to view animals and cowboys in a completely different way. We know that the agricultural community participates heavily in rodeo. The behind the scenes work that ranchers do is rarely seen by the public, but without them, rodeo wouldn’t be possible.
Another thing visitors to almost any destination want to experience is the local cuisine. Wyoming is a place that visitors can taste some of the world’s best beef and bison products.
As folks are becoming more and more conscious about where their food comes from, visitors get to see firsthand the excellent treatment of the animals that eventually become their food. They see the wide open pastures filled with cattle and bison and come to have a better understanding of how Wyoming adds to the world’s food supply. This education is an important part of the equation for both tourism and agriculture in the state.
The Wyoming Office of Tourism and the hospitality and tourism industry as a whole are grateful for the agricultural community for being good stewards of the land and giving us such a pristine place to market to the rest of the world. You help us deliver on the promises that Wyoming is indeed “Forever West.”
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 307-777-7777.