Broda makes lasting impacts in agriculture
Cheyenne – Stacy Broda is the fifth generation born and raised on her family ranch northeast of Cheyenne and has been involved in ranching in one way or another.
In her early years, she was heavily involved in 4-H and FFA organizations.
Stacy shares, “I was a member of both 4-H and FFA, grew up showing cattle and entered decorated cakes, as well as sewing projects.”
She goes on to say, “I attended the University of Wyoming and graduated with an agriculture education and agriculture business degree.”
Shortly after graduating, Stacy went on to teach agriculture education at H.E.M. High School in Hanna for three years.
After marrying her husband, John, ranching brought her back home to her ranching roots.
“We moved back to home to the ranch. I worked full time on the ranch until we had kids and in 2012, I got the state advisor position,” shares Stacy.
Wyoming State FFA Advisor duties
As the Wyoming State FFA advisor, Stacy oversees and manages the nine state FFA officers. Her duties include but are not limited to: planning events such as chapter visits, state convention, fall leadership conferences, FFA’s involvement at state fair, career development events, leadership develop events, and the list goes on.
In addition to planning various events, Stacy also works closely with agricultural educators.
“I work closely with our agriculture teachers across the state and chapters – there are a lot of different aspects to this job,” Stacy says.
“I’m the ag teachers’ representative on the Wyoming State Fair Board, and work closely with the University of Wyoming agricultural education teacher educator program,” she says. “Sometimes I help put together professional development for our ag teachers.”
“There is a little bit of everything in this position,” Stacy comments.
One thing Stacy does miss is teaching youth.
“I don’t really teach anymore as a majority of my job does not require being in the classroom,” she shares. “In this way, I do miss being in the shop with the kids, traveling with them to competitions, though I still get this interaction traveling with the state officers and interacting with ag teachers.”
Growth in youth
One of Stacy’s favorite parts about her position is the growth she sees in the State FFA officers.
“By watching them from the day they are elected until the day they retire, there is so much growth in this time frame,” she shares, noting a majority of state officers are young women.
“It’s just amazing to see the growth they have and the opportunities they have in their year of service as a state officer. I stay in touch with our past officers and are able to watch them out and about getting jobs, staying up to date with what they are accomplishing. It always makes my heart happy,” says Stacy.
In addition to promoting and supporting agriculture and ranching, Stacy has a few “hobbies” on her own to keep her busy.
Along with her work as the Wyoming FFA state advisor, she also spends part of her time making cakes professionally. “I started cake decorating back in 4-H when I was probably 12 or 13 years old,” she shares. “My mom was teaching some of the girls in the 4-H club, so I’ve always done it.”
Over the years, Stacy has started a side business, making cakes out of her home. The Wyoming Food Freedom Act allows her to bake and make a difference one sweet treat at a time, Stacy shares.
“I don’t spend a lot of time advertising, but I do anything from cake pops, cupcakes, birthday and wedding cakes to baked goods,” she says.
Today, Stacy has a trailer she utilizes to sell her sweet treats.
“I’m calling it my cupcake wagon,” Stacy adds, “I take it out every once in a while, to sell some seasonal favorites, cupcakes and baked goods.”
Stacy mentions, “It’s been a new adventure as far as that piece of it but it’s always fun, especially little kids when you deliver a birthday cake, and the first thing they want to do is stick their finger in it.”
Stacy loves making someone’s day special and to her that’s always a good feeling.
“When I was younger, I started out always knowing I wanted to be a teacher and I’ve always had that ambition,” says Stacy. In high school she took six years of German. “At the time, there was a class where students could go into elementary schools and teach a foreign language.”
After two years of teaching sixth grade German, she knew she wanted to teach, sharing, “I think that kind of sealed the deal for me and I knew I wanted to be a teacher – just not teaching German. When I got into junior and high school and started taking ag classes, it just seemed like a natural fit.”
In addition to her activities outside of ranching, the family also raises commercial Angus cattle, and Stacy shares she couldn’t do it without her family.
Her parents, husband John and two sons Gavin and Gage, play an important piece of the puzzle.
“My husband and I ended up back on the ranch sooner than we thought we would, but I always knew I would end up back here just for that love of production agriculture, roots and family history that I have here,” Stacy says. “It’s hard to get away from.”
“I feel really lucky that, number one, my husband has a love for the industry and we can work with my parents on the ranch, but also that I can still be a part of Wyoming agricultural education, FFA, work from home and do my cake business on the side,” she shares. “I can shuffle all of this around and make everything work, thanks to their support.”
Breaking agriculture barriers
From a young age, Stacy has been working on her family ranch.
“My dad had my sister and I out working cattle and running tractors at a pretty young age. We weren’t hired help, but were always included in the work,” shares Stacy.
Her involvement in agriculture from a young age served her well, especially in her first couple of years of teaching and through her current position as the Wyoming State FFA advisor.
She mentions it is important, especially in production agriculture to know your limitations.
“I remember when I first came home and worked full time on the ranch. My dad had to put a cheater bar on a fence stretcher because I just didn’t have the strength to get things as tight as he liked them when fixing fence,” she says. “You’ve got to be creative, flexible and make things work for you, regardless of what the norm might be.”
Stacy offers words of encouragement for the women interested in agriculture, sharing, “Surround yourself with good people, continue to learn, keep a level head on your shoulders and find joy in the small things.”
Brittany Gunn is the Editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.