Drive guides Arndt’s agricultural involvement
Jaycie Arndt, a fifth generation rancher and range enthusiast, grew up raising cattle, sheep and goats on a family ranch in northeast Wyoming. Raised on the ranch, Jaycie developed a passion for agricultural leadership and education, as well as protecting rangelands from invasive annual grasses.
Growing up, Jaycie and her siblings were active in both 4-H and FFA raising and showing livestock, participating in numerous leadership activities and competing in career development events including agronomy, poultry judging, veterinary sciences, agriculture issues and numerous speaking competitions.
“My parents were always supportive of my siblings and I raising livestock and doing anything to become better agricultural leaders,” Jaycie shares. “My father served as a Wyoming FFA State Officer, and I followed in his footsteps and became a Wyoming FFA State Officer in 2015-2016.”
After a year of service, Jaycie wanted to remain active with the association. Therefore she currently serves as an associate director of the Wyoming FFA Leadership Camp and works in various supporting roles with the Wyoming FFA Association throughout the year.
While finishing her bachelor’s degree at the University of Wyoming (UW), Jaycie was involved with many associations including the Range Club, Soil Judging, Mortar Board, Young Farmers and Ranchers and Sigma Alpha. She is an active professional member of the Western Society for Weed Science and the Society for Range Management, serving on the Young Professionals Conclave board.
Career and education benefits family ranch
Jaycie attended Sheridan College after high school, receiving degrees in rangeland ecology, animal science and biology. Transferring to UW to continue her education, Jaycie completed a degree in rangeland ecology and watershed management.
While completing her degrees, Jaycie spent her summers working as a range intern for the Sheridan Research and Extension Center.
Now, she is working to finish a master’s degree in plant sciences with looking at establishing native plant seeds and determining how annual invasive grasses, such as cheatgrass, ventenata and medusahead compete with cool season bunchgrasses.
“My internship during college helped me prepare for my future,” she notes. “I recently began working for the University of Wyoming as an Extension Educator on annual grasses at the Sheridan Research and Extension Center.”
In her position, she works to coordinate efforts for the Northeast Wyoming Invasive Grasses Working Group, which was created to manage invasive annual grasses in northeast Wyoming.
“My education pairs perfectly with my upbringing to allow me to share important information to producers about rangeland health and controlling annual grasses,” says Jaycie. “There is a lot of scientific information available on rangelands, and I simply try to help get it out to the broader agricultural community.”
Jaycie also shares her education allows her to play a role on the family ranch, making decisions on stocking rates, grazing rotations and, of course, the management of invasive species.
“My parents and my sister are still on the ranch,” she shares. “But, I truly get the best of both worlds where I get to help my family on the ranch and educate other producers in our agricultural community at the same time.”
She adds she is blessed to have grown up in a time where female agriculturists are on the rise, with a nod to the future generations of strong women in agriculture in the family.
“My sister and I may not have been the major decision makers 50 years ago, and I may not have had the voice I do as a young woman in the rangeland industry,” says Jaycie. “Luckily, there are many opportunities out there. Young women in agriculture simply must be willing to look for them and take advantage when they appear.”
Averi Hales is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to email@example.com.