Shaping and Living the Code of the West
By Congresswoman Liz Cheney
Congratulations to the Wyoming Stock Growers (WSGA) on 150 years of ‘working to shape and live the code of the West.’ Since before Wyoming attained statehood, WSGA has worked hard to define private property rights and strengthen ranchers’ ability to feed a growing nation.
In 1872, when the WSGA was formed, Wyoming was a territory consisting of just five counties: Albany, Carbon, Laramie, Sweetwater and Uinta. Those counties divided the state into five sections stretching from Colorado to the Montana border. Over the past 150 years, Wyoming has evolved from cow-towns defined by proximity to army forts, rail lines, rivers and other geographical features determining accessibility into a bustling economy defined by tourism, energy production and, of course, our agricultural industry.
In many aspects, Wyoming has changed dramatically over the last century-and-a-half, but there are many things about our state which look the same today. Through it all, WSGA has been there to stand up for agriculture industry and protect our cherished natural resources.
Organizations such as the WSGA are crucial to ensuring the voices of our agriculture industry are heard, both in the Wyoming State Capitol and in Washington, D.C.
It is vitally important for our industries to have the ability to make an impact in both the legal and lawmaking arenas so decisionmakers and elected officials have the opportunity to understand and are aware of how decisions they make will affect those on the ground who are responsible for powering, feeding and clothing our nation.
Given the important role WSGA plays in standing up for our state’s interests, the association is beyond fortunate to have an advocate such as WSGA Executive Vice President Jim Magagna at the helm. Jim has testified before Congress on numerous occasions, highlighting and elevating Wyoming’s needs and emphasizing how damaging federal government red tape and ill-conceived regulations can be on our ag industry. Thanks to his leadership, the WSGA is continuing to fulfill its mission to serve the livestock businesses and families of Wyoming by protecting their economic, legislative, regulatory, judicial, environmental, custom and cultural interests.
It has been a pleasure and an honor to work with the WSGA on important legislation since I took office in 2017. This includes repealing the Bureau of Land Management’s dangerous Planning 2.0, introducing legislation to expand livestock markets by allowing state-inspected meat to be sold across state lines, blocking dangerous efforts to usurp private property rights through misguided federal rules such as Waters of the U.S., reforming weaponized regulations such as the Endangered Species Act, using well intended acts such as National Environmental Policy Act or the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and others to inhibit multiple use of federal lands, and much more.
Not enough can be said about the invaluable work and service the WSGA does for its members or for our state. I want to congratulate everyone with the association on the tremendous work that has been accomplished over the past 150 years and know WSGA will continue to play an essential role in the shaping the future of Wyoming in the decades ahead.
Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) serves as Wyoming’s lone member of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives. She can be reached at cheneyforms.house.gov/contact/.