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COWGIRL celebrates 30 Under 30 Class of 2024

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Wranglers’ flagship program, COWGIRL 30 Under 30, was created by editors and executives at COWGIRL Magazine and is celebrating the fifth anniversary of seeking out and promoting an esteemed group of powerful young women.

COWGIRL’s mission is to find and recognize young women who are making a name for themselves in the Western industry. 

These young women can be corporate executives, professional athletes, media professionals or hard-working cowgirls.

COWGIRL aims to bring these talented women to light and show how vital they are to the ag industry, while creating and growing a network of individuals who can serve as role models and mentors for future leaders of the ag industry.

This year, three young ladies representing Wyoming were selected to be part of the 2024 inductees.

They include Wyoming State Fair General Manger Courtny Conkle of Douglas, Wild West Advocacy Owner and Agriculture Advocate Sarah Falen of Cheyenne and Butcher Solutions, LLC Owner and Lead Butcher Sierra Jepsen of Livingston, Mont., former head meats judging coach for the University of Wyoming (UW). 

Conkle, Falen and Jepsen are joined by eight other women hailing from the West, including Alexa Wilcox of Lovington, N.M.; Bret Leigh Nance of Pierre, S.D.; Callie Masar of Florence, Colo.; Caroline Lukens of Kiowa, Colo.; Diane Hayes of Orchard, Colo.; Katie Clinebell of Loveland, Colo.; Elyssa Leininger of Billings, Mont. and Shelby Rasmussen of Cave Creek, Ariz.

COWGIRL Magazine selected 10 honorary women from Texas for their 30 Under 30 Class of 2024 inductees as well.

They are Andrea Thorp of Bridgeport, Texas; Ashley Starrett of Amarillo, Texas; Courtney Greener of Yoakum, Texas; Hannah Crandall of Pilot Point, Texas; Kelley Ranly of Bryan, Texas; Kendall Whatley of Stephenville, Texas; Lexi Hoagland and Tyler Schuster of Fort Worth, Texas; Madison Brooks of Katy, Texas; Sarah Schobert of Navasota, Texas and Sidney Abbott of Wildorado, Texas.

Other inductees include Catherine Dowling of Montague, Calif.; Mallory Bush of Hollister, Calif.; Marissa Fisher of Walnut Grove, Calif.; Michaela Brazil-Gillies of Fountain Valley, Calif.; Rizpah Bellard of Fresno, Calif.; Kaitlyn Weldon of Jones, Okla.; Megan Ray of Ellensburg, Wash. and Megan Silveira of Saint Joseph, Mo.

In celebration, this class will gather in Fort Worth, Texas the weekend of March 8, 2024 to be honored at the Wrangler COWGIRL 30 Under 30 Empowered Gala at Tannahill’s in the historic stockyards.

Conkle breaks records, makes history

It’s been a big year for Conkle, as she was not only selected to be part of COWGIRL’s 30 Under 30 list, but she was also honored with the prestigious Fair Manager of the Year Award at the 2023 Rocky Mountain Association of Fairs Convention held in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho earlier this month. 

Conkle fell in love with the fair scene at a young age while working for her family-owned concession business and has since made a big impact on the industry. With over two decades of experience and through her driving passion, Conkle made history at the age of 20 by becoming the youngest fair chief executive officer.

Her courageous attitude and dedication to excellence have resulted in a series of record-breaking accomplishments year after year, solidifying her reputation as a trailblazer in the fair industry.

Conkle serves as an inspiration to aspiring professionals, demonstrating passion, hard work and a commitment to excellence can lead to extraordinary success.

Falen dedicates life to education and advocation

Growing up on her family’s operation as a fifth-generation Wyoming rancher, Falen is no stranger to the ag industry, and through the years, she has developed a passion for agricultural policy.

Falen graduated from the UW College of Law in 2021 and started working at her family’s law firm before realizing she had other opportunities.

In the fall of 2022, Falen opened the doors of Wild West Advocacy, LLC in Cheyenne, to educate people about legal issues within the agriculture and natural resources industries. 

“How we vote effects the laws which govern our food supply,” she stated. “Through the Wild West Advocacy, I can use social media platforms to educate the public on laws which influence the full spectrum of the ag industry.”

Falen added, “To be recognized with such a diverse group of women, I am honored to be inducted into COWGIRL’s 30 Under 30 class of 2024 and continue networking to advocate for ranchers and farmers.”

Most recently, Falen took on another advocacy role as an adjunct professor at UW and taught her first semester of agricultural law to undergrad students.

Jepsen blazes trail for female butchers

Jepsen, the former head UW meat judging coach and assistant lecturer, now resides in Livingston, Mont. and is the owner and lead butcher at Butcher Solutions, LLC, a business she opened a year ago, which specializes as a traveling butcher school and meat industry consultancy.

“I focus on hands-on meat science education to train and retain skilled labor,” she explained. “Over this past year, I have been able to venture out to various states and work with teams to break down the art and science behind butchery.”

She continued, “I am very humble to be selected as part of this prestigious group of young ladies and look forward to the future of networking and being a part of the ag industry in a unique way.”

Melissa Anderson is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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