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Wyoming ag leadership program graduates a dozen leaders

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Twelve agribusiness men and women from across Wyoming graduated from the Wyoming Leadership Education and Development (L.E.A.D.) program’s Class 17 in early November during a ceremony held in Casper.

Wyoming L.E.A.D., a  15-month training program sponsored by the Wyoming Agricultural Leadership Council, began in September 2023.  

The participants attended 11 educational seminars to enhance their leadership skills and understanding of all aspects of agriculture and policy making. Nine seminars were held in Wyoming and one in Washington, D.C.  

In addition, L.E.A.D Class 17 members spent over a week in Sweden during their international study seminar. According to Wyoming L.E.A.D Program Director Cindy Garretson-Weibel, members participated in over 40 days of training during the program.


Class 17 graduates

Ben Anson, manager of the Pitchfork Ranch in Meeteetse, is the first of the L.E.A.D. Class 17 graduates. He and his wife Lindsey started a branded beef marketing program and an annual horse sale.  Anson is also a member of the Wyoming Board of Agriculture as a youth representative.

Cole Coxbill is part of his families’ diversified farm near Huntley. He and his wife Sammie run a commercial agriculture spraying business, raise cattle, farm and have an agriculture trucking business. Coxbill was recently elected to his eighth term as Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) vice president.

Cooper Gray is a fifth-generation rancher who helps run his family operation with his parents near Douglas and Orin Junction. Gray and his wife Ashleigh have a commercial cow/calf operation and run livestock in three counties. He is also a member of the Converse County Stockgrowers and the Moose Lodge.

Dee Harbach lives in Smoot and works as the county executive director for the Farm Service Agency. She and her husband Matt are also developing a small custom exempt meat processing facility. Harbaugh is also a volunteer leader for Lincoln County 4-H.

Kaden Huber is an agriculturalist at Wyoming Sugar Company in Worland.  He oversees approximately 12,000 acres of sugarbeets in the Big Horn Basin. He and his wife Sara live in Worland.

Tyler Kane is a fifth-generation rancher and an ag loan officer at First Northern Bank in Sheridan. He is a board member of the Big Horn Equestrian Center and involved in the Wyo W.E.S.T. Warrior Foundation.

Patrick Murphy is the founder and chief executive officer of the media company Agriculture Television. He lives in Gillette, has a crop production background and is active in his local church. 

Quade Palm works with his family on a cow/calf operation near Medicine Bow.  He serves on the Medicine Bow Conservation District and is past chair of WyFB’s Young Farmer and Rancher Committee.

Armando Rios is a first-generation farmer and rancher in the Big Horn Basin. He and his wife Brenda live between Basin and Greybull and raise commercial cattle and crops. 

Linda Schiffer lives in Buffalo with her husband Tony. She spent 30 years in the cattle buying business and is involved in Wyoming Agri-Women, where she served as president. She is also active in American Agri-Women.

Lexi Springer is a fifth-generation sheep rancher on her family’s ranch, Julian Land and Livestock, in Kemmerer. She also works alongside her husband Brady on his family’s sheep ranch. Springer is also involved in American Sheep Industry Young Entrepreneurs.

Lindsey Woodward is the Wyoming Weed and Pest coordinator for the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. She and her husband Tim live in Cheyenne. Woodward is active in the Wyoming Association of Special Districts.

Cindy Garretson-Weibel is the Wyoming L.E.A.D Program director and can be reached at or 307-214-5080.

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