Ranching runs deep
Published on Feb. 1, 2020
Niobrara county native Chelsea Baars comes from a long line of ranchers and agriculture leaders in Wyoming. In 1911, her great great grandparents homesteaded southeast of Lusk where they raise cattle and grow alfalfa to this day.
Young farmers and Ranchers
The newly elected Wyoming Farm Bureau (WyFB) Young Farmers and Ranchers (YFR) Committee Chair, Baars is no stranger to WyFB or the committee.
“My parents were founding members of YFR,” she explains. “My dad was the very first chair of the committee in the early 2000s.”
Baars notes it was great to be able to be a part of something she had grown up around.
“I really wanted to carry on the tradition of YFR and be able to get young people involved with the program,” she says. “WyFB does a great job of protecting farmers and ranchers and really nice to be able to give back to an organization that gives so much to us as farmers and ranchers.”
As the YFR chair, Baars has a seat on the WyFB board of directors.
“I am not very far into my term, but I am willing and able to go wherever I’m needed and lend a helping hand,” she says. “My goals for this term are to serve others and learn as much from them as they learn from me. I want to be able to both serve and learn.”
An avid quilter, Baars was approached over a year ago to create something special for the 100th annual WyFB annual meeting that captured the essence of Wyoming agriculture, while raising money for the Foodbank of the Rockies.
“We wanted to do something special for the 100th anniversary raffle item,” Baars explains. “I decided to do a quilt and came up with a plan on how I was going to incorporate the structure of the organization.”
She continues, “I wanted to include three elements – the members and their individuality, the counties and how they are a larger part of this picture, but have to work together and then how it all comes together to create one large voice.”
To incorporate individuality, Baars put out a call for ranchers to submit their brands in exchange for a $10 donation to Foodbank of the Rockies.
“It was really great to get to talk to all these ranchers and hear the stories of their operations,” she says.
For the counties, Baars included a collection of interconnected rings, signifying their individuality but also that they must work together.
“The great thing about WyFB is that each county serves the needs of their locals, while, but they all link together to form a unified voice. No county has more power over another,” she says.
To finish off the quilt, she included the special 100th anniversary logo to represent the state organization and the staff that makes it all happen.
“We have been here 100 years and hope to be around for at least another 100,” Baars says. “My brother and I are set to take over in the coming years and we have already started that process with our parents.”
Baars notes she has been taking on more responsibility on the ranch as she prepares for this endeavor.
Baars has a particular interest in helping choose bulls.
“I make a list and compare EPDs of different bulls to find what will match best with our herd’s needs,” she says.
“I really enjoy working with family and feel very blessed with the opportunity to work with my family every day,” she says. “I look forward to the future and carrying on the family legacy.”
Callie Hanson is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to email@example.com.