30 Under 30: Cowgirl Magazine announces class of 2023
For the third consecutive year, Cowgirl Magazine has announced its Cowgirl 30 Under 30 Class.
Since the program’s inception, 90 women from across the U.S. have been recognized for making a name for themselves in the Western industry. This year’s class inducts three women with ties to Wyoming: Gabrielle Crumley of Burlington, former Miss Rodeo Wyoming 2018 Morgan Wallace and Sami Jo Smith of Farson.
Gabrielle Crumley hangs her hat in Northwest Wyoming. In 2019, as a first-generation rancher, she and her husband Chad started their own business called Beef Box, providing high-quality natural beef to consumers.
Crumley didn’t originally grow up ranching or in a rodeo family. She notes as a five-year-old she was bit by the horse bug and convinced her parents to get her a horse. Growing up, Crumley was active in high school rodeo and 4-H.
She soon realized she had a passion and dream to one day own a ranch. After graduating college with an agriculture science degree, she found a place to rent with her husband, and in October 2020 the pair closed on their ranch.
“It’s a blessing to be able to build our ranch in Wyoming where the ranching community is strong – it has been a blessing to both me and my husband,” says Crumley. “We’ve made great friends, have wonderful neighbors and love the community here. We are so thankful to call Wyoming home.”
Crumley shares she is driven, doesn’t mind hard work and is not afraid of big dreams. In addition to running a ranch, in 2018 she started Out West Marketing Group, a digital marketing company for ag and Western brands.
“I may not have been born a cowgirl, but there’s no doubt I was born to be one,” she says. “As someone who wasn’t born into the Western way of life, from the time I started riding horses as a little girl, to having the dream of owning a ranch and being a part of the Western industry, I’ve been working towards this my whole life and to be recognized is an honor.”
First lady of professional rodeo
Morgan Wallace served the Cowboy State as Miss Rodeo Wyoming 2018. At a young age, she realized being a rodeo queen could be a foundational step in achieving her life goals. Upon completion of the Miss Rodeo America Pageant, earning her a top 10 finish, she found her way working for the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) as their senior manager of social media.
In addition, Wallace is also the director of social media for the Miss Rodeo America organization. In 2022, she earned her master’s from Tarleton State University while working full-time for the PBR, Miss Rodeo America Inc. and part time for the University of Wyoming.
She notes, “I am not an expert, but I think your late 20s have to be the hardest era of your life. You’re just starting out in your career, but as a determined soul, you wish you were 20 years ahead.”
“It’s moments like these that remind me to reflect on the amazing opportunities I have,” she shares. “I’m blessed to live the life I am, in an industry which sets my heart on fire.”
Sami Jo Smith has been an innovator in the Western sports industry. Originally from Cheyenne, Smith has carved her spot to stand out as a female leader. Growing up she was active in 4-H, FFA, the swim team and the Dandies.
Smith attended Laramie County Community College (LCCC) and graduated with her associate degree in agriculture in 2012. She competed on the Ranch Horse Versatility Team, was a public relations intern and worked in the LCCC Barn.
From 2011-12, she served as a Lady-in-Waiting and Miss Frontier for Cheyenne Frontier Days.
After transferring and graduating from the University of Wyoming, Smith started as an intern with RFD-TV in Omaha, Neb. for six months. She then moved to Nashville, Tenn. where she started her career as an events coordinator.
Today, she works as the Director of Operations and Rodeo Administration at the Women’s Rodeo World Championship and the World Champions Rodeo Alliance to bring new events and money to the sport of rodeo.
Although Smith’s career has taken her across the country producing rodeos, living in Wyoming and raising her children around agriculture is one of the things she and her family take the most pride in.
“We are proud to be a part of the agriculture industry, and we will never take for granted this opportunity to teach our children how to care for the land and animals around us,” she says. “None of this would be possible without God. He has blessed me continuously throughout the years, and I give all the glory to Him.”
Smith notes this award means a lot to her and she has a lot of people to thank for getting her where she is today. Specifically, she says she would like to thank her parents Jeff and Stephanie Heitsch, husband Thomas and family and friends Tommy Cress, Travis Shoopman, Lisa Murphy, Kimberly Kuhn Romsa, Amy Berry Nicodemus, Susan Kanode, David Glodt, Maria Prekeges, Jenna Daley Cargile, Randy Bernard, Keith Ferguson, Raquel Gottsch Koehler, Riley Lambert, Tommy Joe Lucia, Chris Woodruff, Tim Long, Bobby Mote, Scott Davis, Linsay Rosser Sumpter and Kendra Santos.
“Over the past 10 years I’ve been given many opportunities to work in the sport of rodeo and bring new initiatives to the industry,” she concludes. “I feel this award is giving me the opportunity to show the hard work I’ve been putting in over the years.”
Class of 2023
Other class inductees include Brilynn Bentley, Brittany Coffee Parker, Callee Fischer, Carly Hoffmann, Cassie Younginer, Cheyenne Sparks, Dr. Christy Petry, Desiree Heath Mills, Elizabeth Lawhorn, Helen Hardy, Ivy Weirather, Jillian Masciantonio, Kaitlyn Hurst, Keni Reese, Kiah Burchett, Kylynn Copeland, Dr. Kyre Larrabee, Landyn Croy-Hill, Lauren Kelsey, Leah Scholz, Madeline (Maddie) Weber, Natasha McCann, Olana Osborn, Sadie Noblitt, Sara Honegger, Shelby Lovelace and Tanner Mabry.
Cowgirl 30 Under 30, presented by Wrangler, is sponsored by Cavender’s, Montana Silversmiths, Charlie 1 Horse, Cowboy Channel, Corral Boots, The Dude Ranchers’ Association, Old Gringo Boots and Durango Boots.
In celebration, the class will gather in Fort Worth, Texas the weekend of March 10, 2023 to be honored.
Brittany Gunn is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to email@example.com.