YPA generates opportunities for young producers in Wyoming ag
Cheyenne – Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) Young Producers Assembly (YPA) Public Relations and Media Chair and Region Two Representative Kendall Roberts has been involved with the agriculture industry all of her life. She currently runs a Red and Black Angus cow/calf operation with her family outside the Magic City of the Plains.
Kendall recalls being involved with WSGA through her parents, who were active members throughout her youth. Her dad, Mark Eisele, is a former WSGA president. She served as the WSGA YPA president from 2015-2018. Today, she continues to impact youth across the state but recalls her goal as president was to generate opportunities for youth.
members to WSGA
“YPA started in 2015 as a way to rebuild and reconnect young membership to the organization,” shares Kendall. “We felt there was this gap in age between youth or new ranchers coming into the ag industry and an experienced rancher.”
The assembly is a way to connect and develop a camaraderie of young people coming into the ag industry throughout Wyoming, she explains.
“At the first initial meeting we took time to develop important aspects of the association, such as the importance of ag education, networking opportunities and to share the passion for the ag industry within WSGA,” explains Kendall. “We wanted to give young producers an opportunity to get involved, a way to become leaders within the industry and a way for them to understand why we do what we do as a livestock organization.”
YPA has 20 core members and has expanded to 30 plus members ever since its inception with their education series.
“We do regional events where we bring in a speaker who presents on a topic, and members can learn a little bit about being a member of the WSGA from a current member in the area and provide some leadership opportunities within WSGA and affiliate organizations,” she shares. “It’s a big fold of leadership, networking, education and policy for YPA.”
Greatest accomplishment within YPA
Throughout Kendall time in YPA, she was able to make a big impact on youth in agriculture. She recalls several favorite memories and accomplishments.
“The biggest accomplishment was in the summer of 2017, when we presented our operating procedure for the young producers to the WSGA membership to be approved so we were not just a committee or a smaller entity under WSGA, but as another membership opportunity,” Kendall explains. “When everything got into place and it was approved – it was a big step for us, because it not only got us a seat at the table on the board and in the executive leadership, but it showed they respected what we have to say as young people in the industry.”
In the summer of 2021, YPA hosted a social, tour and dinner with YPA members at the Kane Ranch in Sheridan prior to the annual convention.
“We got to see how everyone was doing and had a chance to visit,” she notes. “Attendees were able to tour an operation and to see first-hand what the ag industry is about. We really enjoyed the dinner, had a great time, told stories and have plans for a similar event in 2022 and 2023.”
YPA offers several ways to find out more information about the association. In addition to having a Facebook and Instagram presence, YPA has a presence on WSGA’s website, Kendall says.
“The best way to find out how to get involved or to see what we have going on is through social media,” she notes. “Social media is a huge piece of communication amongst the younger generation. There are some really great communications aspects of social media to help get the message out.”
On WSGA’s website, members and interested individuals can find information on YPA and WSGA in addition to contact information.
“We don’t ask individuals to come to us to join a new membership because of an issue,” says Kendall. “We want members to join because they want to see what is going on in the industry.”
Members of YPA receive the full benefit of being a part of WSGA, she explains.
“In the past, YPA considered a separate membership fee,” she adds. “There is a youth joint membership with the Wyoming Collegiate Cattle Association, making it more cost effective for those members as college students. At the same time, they are still a part of the membership and have a part in what is going on.”
“Members don’t have to have livestock to be a member,” she adds. “We are starting to see more and more of the younger generation in ag banking, journalism or communications becoming involved in the association.”
“How many organizations in the state of Wyoming can say they are celebrating 150 years?” she asks. “This is a deep and rich history of the cattle and livestock industry and family operations. We will continue to do agriculture for another 150 to 200 years.”
This is a very special moment as a young person and every generation who attends the anniversary. She notes not every organization has gotten to celebrate this milestone.
“We see how we have been able to adapt over 150 years, and we will continue to see this change,” Kendall says. “As a young producer, we are adaptable and have the groundwork and a foundation to keep us running for another 100 plus years.”
The celebration is going to be activity packed. There will be something for everyone during this four-day event, she says.
“We still have business to take care of, but there are going to be a lot of things for a family to enjoy – it’s going to touch on different aspects important to every member of the organization. This is a very exciting time, and you’ll be missing out if you don’t attend,” she adds.
“This 150th anniversary is not going to happen next year, it is this year’s celebration,” Kendall concludes. “After the industry has suffered from a pandemic, changes in the supply chain and inflation, this is still the time to celebrate the things we’ve seen in 150 years and be prepared for the next 150 years.”
Brittany Gunn is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.