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WSGA presents cattle industry awards

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

During the 2024 Wyoming Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show, held June 5-7 at the Wyoming State Fairgrounds in Douglas, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) honored multiple individuals for their contributions to the cattle industry. 

Cattlemen’s Club celebrates 25 years

On June 6, convention attendees gathered for a luncheon to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Cattlemen’s Club. 

“The Cattlemen’s Club was established in 2000 as a way for WSGA members to enhance their support of the organization through annual donation proceeds by selling a heifer or steer calf, in addition to maintaining regular WSGA dues,” explained WSGA First Vice President Reg Phillips. “It has evolved to become a critical source of revenue for the association, and in 2023, it brought in over $48,000.” 

Phillips recognized the club’s charter members and honored them for their 25 years of contributions, including Tom and Kay Wright, Jim and Terry Wilson, Joe and Tracy Thomas, Rob and Leslie Hendry, Niels and Barb Hansen and Anna Helm. 

First Lady thanks ranchers for donations

Later in the day, Gov. Mark Gordon and First Lady Jennie Gordon joined convention attendees for a dinner banquet, where the First Lady honored operations involved in the Wyoming Hunger Initiative. 

“We have two different beef programs through our initiative – the Beef for Backpacks program and livestock donations through Food from the Farm and Ranch,” Gordon stated. “We have some amazing people who have donated to both of these programs, and we are going to honor them tonight.” 

Those honored include the Baker family, Keith and Wendi Lankister, Shawn and Lisa Daly, Fred and Sabrina Smith, Jay and Linda Butler, Aaron Clausen, Andy and Kay Moore, Kelle Moore and Brace and Linda Rharmy, all of Douglas; Gerry and Gwen Geis, James and Jamie Tarver and Darci Edwards of Gillette; Jack and Diana Berger of Saratoga; Silver Spur Ranches of Encampment; Malik and April Hegge of Casper; Gordon Ranch of Kaycee; Walton Ranch of Jackson; Joe and Karen Rankin of Shawnee; Martha Hellyer of Lander and Rocky Mountain Agronomy Center, LLC of Riverton. 

WSGA recognizes friends of the industry 

On June 7, WSGA took its turn honoring individuals who have made significant contributions to the beef industry during the association’s Annual Awards Luncheon. 

Each year, WSGA partners with the Wyoming Department of Agriculture (WDA), Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Audubon Rockies to recognize cattlemen whose natural resource stewardship practices contribute to the environment and enhance productivity and profitability with the Environmental Stewardship Award. 

This year, S&W Livestock, LLC of Arvada was the Environmental Stewardship Award winner. 

Established by the Spellman and Woods families in 2013, S&W Livestock, LLC has actively participated in educational events and programs focused on soil health, rangeland monitoring, invasive weed management and alternative forage systems over the years. 

WSGA also presented their Guardian of the Grasslands Award, which recognizes an individual who has sacrificed time and effort into preserving Wyoming’s agriculture industry, as well as the Outstanding Rangeland Professional Award. 

This year’s Guardian of the Grasslands awardee was WDA Director Doug Miyamoto, and Mark Shirley was the recipient of the Outstanding Rangeland Professional Award. 

To wrap up the ceremony, WSGA presented two college students with the Clifford P. Hansen Memorial Scholarship, given in remembrance of Sen. Clifford Hansen and established through contributions received in memory of Hansen and other departed WSGA leaders.

This year, the scholarship was presented to Lily Crago and Meredith Halweg. 

Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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