Former WSGA president reminisces on membership
Wallace “Wally” Ramsbottom has ranched in Johnson County his whole life – ranching is what he knows and loves. He has been an active agriculture advocate for many years, supporting the people and the land of the Western ranching community.
“I spent my whole life here on the ranch,” he says. “I graduated from Johnson County High School, went to Colorado State University, spent a little time in the Army and came back to the ranch.”
Wally notes he was a Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) member for at least 50 years. Wally was first introduced to the association by his father, who was a WSGA member himself.
“I’d been to a WSGA meeting or two with my father way back when I was in high school,” he says. “My father thought it was pretty important to be involved with, so I kind of picked up on this and decided to join myself.”
Wally served as WSGA president from 1989 to 1991.
Role as president
Wally notes he didn’t campaign for the role of president, but instead was recruited for the role. He was honored to receive the nomination and to serve as president of such an “important association.”
“I previously served on several WSGA committees, and when I was offered the opportunity of president, I took it,” he says.
Wally mentions many topics he invested his time on as president years ago are still issues WSGA face today.
“Private property rights was one of the things I worked on a lot during my time as president,” he notes. “We had many private property threats as producers during this time. I think this is still probably a big issue affecting farmers and ranchers today.”
Wally also notes WSGA focused a lot of time on the brand program for many years until it was turned over to the state.
“Branding issues were one of the main reasons WSGA was organized in the 1800s,” he says. “Producers were worried about brands, theft and the health of the livestock. This is something we still work on today.”
Wally recognizes the members he worked with during his time as president and says he greatly appreciates them and the dedication they had for WSGA.
“WSGA had a lot of good help when I was president. There was a good office staff at the time and an outstanding executive team. I don’t think I could’ve done it without them, and I really appreciate the job they did,” he says.
Throughout his time with WSGA, Wally has seen producers evolve and change with the times. He notes change wasn’t always easy for the association, but it was something they often needed.
“Society in general has changed a lot in itself over the years,” he says. “We’ve had to go along with it and deal with the changes.”
Wally encourages producers to be involved with organizations like WSGA. He mentions it’s a person’s duty to be involved in policy which directly affects their operation.
Wally references one of his favorite quotes from Theodore Roosevelt to inspire others to join WSGA, which says, “Every man owes a part of his time and money to the business or industry in which he is engaged. No man has a moral right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions within his sphere.”
Kaitlyn Root is an editor for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to email@example.com.