Lenhart’s passion for agriculture shines in advocacy
The Box Equal Ranch in the Little Powder River Valley is what fourth generation rancher Cinnamon Lenhart calls home. Growing up, Cinnamon was raised with an appreciation for the land, the cattle her family’s ranch raised and the way of life agriculture provides.
Cinnamon participated in youth sports, competed in 4-H and became passionate about FFA in high school, going on to be selected as a Wyoming FFA State Officer towards the end of her senior year. She continued her education at the University of Wyoming (UW), majoring in agriculture education and agriculture business, all while promoting agriculture as a UW College of Agriculture Ambassador and a member of the Mortar Board.
Cinnamon notes her time in college shaped many of her passions and prepared her to return to the ranch her father was raised on. Today, Cinnamon and her husband Jade share their life ranching and raising the ranch’s fifth generation.
Ranching and advocating
The Lenhart’s main focus is to create the best cowherd possible to fit the land and the ranch. Cinnamon notes this doesn’t mean they apply everything exactly as it is taught in school, but more so, they have figured out what it means for cattle to be successful on their ranch and recreate those traits in each animal they raise.
“Our cattle come from an incredibly maternal line of Shoshone Black Angus cattle that I started with when I was eight years old,” says Cinnamon. “These cattle have led us to our ranch mission statement of ‘Making Ranching Easy,’ because their genetics were created to save time and money.”
While working the ranch, Cinnamon passionately documents daily activities to share about the ranch, cattle and their production story. She believes social media is an incredible asset to producers, and shares her story to help teach more ranchers do the same.
“Learning how to tell our story efficiently and effectively has been a big mind shift change for me, but I believe it is the key to good marketing,” Cinnamon states. “No one is going to tell the story of an operation, if the rancher doesn’t do it themselves.”
Sharing ranching and beef production on social media is one of the greatest ways Cinnamon continues to advocate for agriculture.
“Agriculture is leaning more and more directly to consumers, so we need direct marketing to allow us the opportunity to share a true and honest representation of what our operations look like,” she says. “It is important our customers know what they are getting and be happy with the choices they’ve made as consumers.”
Cinnamon shares the more ranchers who tell their story, the better off our industry will be in the future.
Education is key
One of the greatest lessons Cinnamon and Jade have learned through ranching is to be ready for risk.
“Ranching and agriculture are a risky business, and producers will most likely step out and jump at least a few times,” says Cinnamon. “But, treating a business like a business, learning how to market products and taking advantage of every educational opportunity out there will help risk to be less of a scary thing.”
Cinnamon notes whatever it takes to better the business and the operator with knowledge and preparedness is worth the task.
“Be a sponge to the world,” she advises. “Take the online course. Listen to the speakers. Do the professional development. Join the organization and be ready to walk through the door if and when it opens.”
Averi Hales is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.