Valuing Community: Lexie Dockery hopes to instill a love of community in the future generation
A lifelong resident of Niobrara County, Lexie Dockery has always known she wanted to be a rancher. She grew up alongside her parents ranching on their cow/calf operation.
She is a 2016 graduate of Niobrara County High School and a graduate of the University of Wyoming (UW), where she received degrees in both agriculture business and finance, as well as a minor in farm and ranch management.
“Growing up in Niobrara County, I always knew the true meaning of neighbors – there isn’t a single event that goes on here where people don’t help in every way possible,” she says. “It’s amazing to be from a place where you never have to worry about finding help, because everyone always pitches in.”
Lexie is currently working for a life-long family friend on a ranch in Niobrara County.
“It’s been an amazing opportunity where he has allowed me to help make the day-to-day operating decisions, as well as show me how he has done things over the years,” she says. “Every day I learn something new or a different way of doing things than I did growing up, and I really enjoy seeing different perspectives.”
Involvement is key
“While I was at UW, I was actively involved with Wyoming Collegiate Cattle Association (WCCA) and found my love of promoting agriculture,” Lexie shares.
According to UW, WCCA is a recognized stu- dent organization open to all students who are interested in learning more about the cattle industry. As joint members of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, the club works to promote the cattle business and its values throughout the state and university.
“The fall after I graduated college, I was asked to be on the Niobrara County Farm Bureau board and I jumped at the opportunity,” she says. “My community gave me so much when I was growing up through competitions, scholarships and awards that I want to give back to those who gave to me.”
Lexie knew there would be no better way to give back to the agriculture community that gave so much to her, than by pursuing a leadership opportunity to advocate for those in the industry.
“Farming and ranching are important to me because it’s how I make my living, and there needs to be voices promoting the best for the industry and I believe this is what Farm Bureau does,” she explains.
“Farm Bureau lobbyists are constantly fighting for
he needs of Wyoming farmers and ranchers. By creating resolutions, this directly affects Wyoming law and is actively bettering the agri- culture industry,” Lexie continues.
Lexie notes she is getting married this summer and hopes to start a family in the next few years.
“In the next five years, I hope to be raising the next generation of ranchers,” she says. “Along with that, I want to be steadily increasing our cattle numbers and helping my husband Thomas Painter grow his horse train- ing business.”
In the next 10 years, Lexie hopes to be able to focus more on their cattle herd’s genetics and hopefully expand into a stocker operation in addition to the cow/calf herd.
“The ag and cattle industries are ever-changing, so it is important to me to be able to remain flexible with our goals so they are always allowing us to capitalize on the industry trends,” Lexie says. “My ‘why’ is that I want to leave an impact on this world, no matter how big or small, which shows why God made a rancher. I believe He put me on this earth to care for the land and the animals on it, and I want todothebestjobIcanin doing this.”
Callie Hanson is a corresponding writer for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.