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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

It’s Called Leadership

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

I have been thinking about a couple of weeks ago when I was at the Wyoming State Fair (WSF) and then last week in Cody at the Public Lands Council (PLC) conference. It was certainly an interesting two weeks.

The common theme of both events was leadership. There are numerous definitions of leadership and it comes in many forms, but one can always recognize true leadership. It is not given as a title, it has to be earned. 

One of my favorite quotes about leadership is, “No person can be a great leader unless they take genuine joy in the successes of those under them.” W.A. Nance

At the WSF, I witnessed leadership in the livestock show rings as a number of youth were showing their animals. Many of these youth are already in the livestock business. 

I also recognized leadership in their parents and families who work so hard through the year to support them and their projects. These young people may not see themselves as leaders, but it will come naturally later on in life.

We honored leadership at the Wyoming Agriculture Hall of Fame picnic with Pat and Sharon O’Toole who have both taken leadership roles in many areas of our Western lives and businesses.

We also honored the late Scott Keith. Even though Scott Keith has passed on, I still remember his style of leadership assisting youth in the cattle business, helping new organizations get started and promoting Wyoming agriculture. When Scott walked into my office, I knew he either needed help on something new he was working on or it was going to cost me some dollars. His persuasion usually cost me one or the other.

“A leader is one who keeps their ear to the ground allowing their rear end to become a target.” Angie Papadakis 

This is one of many definitions of leadership we saw at the PLC annual meeting. Public lands ranchers from around the West gathered in Cody to discuss important common topics such as wildfires, drought, water, federal regulations, endangered species and private property rights, among others. 

These ranchers, from some 13 states with public lands, are leaders not only in their state, but also on the national scene. Their knowledge and experience go a long way in protecting ranching in the West.

The PLC staff is amazing in their organization, lobbying and speaking for public lands ranchers. Their integrity has gained respect, both on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

If you are from Wyoming, one has to be proud of the leadership Wyoming has on the state and national level of PLC, along with our leadership in national livestock organizations and ranching and farming interests. 

It is not a small group. There is a reason Wyoming is called upon to help solve national and state issues. 

“You must get involved to have an impact. No one is impressed with the won-lost record of the referee.” John H. Halcomb

The one good thing about the lack of leadership in Washington D.C. these days, is the leaders from the states are stepping up and fighting back. 

“It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” Tom Brokaw

We can’t thank our excellent leadership in ranching and natural resource issues enough.

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