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Wyoming

Casper – Agricultural roots run deep in Wyoming, and the Fort Caspar Museum is continuing to promote those roots and understanding through new exhibits.
One new exhibit, known as Farm Life: A Century of Change for Farm Families and Their Neighbors, is stirring up quite a bit of excitement this spring at Fort Caspar Museum, and the museum’s Curator of Education Erin Rose is the one responsible for bringing it to Casper.
“The exhibit is a traveling exhibit from the On the Road Program with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mid-America Arts Alliance. It has been traveling for four years, and has another year to go. We have the exhibit from April 6 through May 25,” says Rose.
The exhibit portrays the history of agriculture and how families adapted to that lifestyle over the years.
“It’s based on the permanent galleries from the Chippewa Valley Museum in Wisconsin,” she notes.
The exhibit is primarily based on Wisconsin agriculture, but Rose says it has something for everyone. Photos of dairy farmers, exhibits of household objects and even an interactive area, complete with a plastic model calf, where kids can practice getting a project ready for fair.
Of the uniqueness of the exhibit, Rose says, “With this traveling exhibit program they take an exhibit, add some things and broaden it a little bit so that it travels around and other communities can make those same connections to it.”
Rose says the exhibit is a great opportunity for families to share this history with younger generations and to learn from older generations, as well. On one side of the exhibit there is an “Oral History” station where families can sit down and discuss family history together.
“This exhibit really promotes the universal concepts of working together, family and community. It helps to portray working on the land and how some families continue to do this and others don’t,” explains Rose.
Earlier this month local resident and ranch kid Con Trumbull gave a presentation at the museum on his family’s history in the Casper area and how those traditions still hold strong in his life today. As a fifth-generation rancher, Trumbull is familiar with the joys and hardships that come with living a life emerged in the agricultural lifestyle. He currently attends Mesa State College in Colorado and came home to give the presentation.
Rose says there are many other exciting events coming up at the museum in conjunction with the exhibit. On April 23 David Romtvedt of Buffalo will give a presentation on his personal experiences of marrying into a family that runs sheep and the accompanying lifestyle. Romtvedt is also the poet laureate for the state of Wyoming.
In May there are many opportunities to take in the traveling exhibit, as well as the permanent exhibits at Fort Caspar. The planting of an heirloom garden similar to that which the soldiers would have had is coming up, along with family programs and a series of teacher workshops on how to use oral histories as teaching devices and learning opportunities.
Tressa Lawrence is a summer intern with the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Riverton – Fremont County’s agriculture community gathered on Oct. 16 for the chance to enjoy camaraderie and some friendly competition.

“We wanted to bring the ag community together to have a little bit of fun this fall,” said Scott Priebe of Wyoming Ag Marketing, who hosted the day. 

Rich Pingetzer of Bass Lake Farms and Brown Company also cooperated to organize the event.

The gathering invited farmers, ranchers and business people for the farmers versus ranchers softball game, a rousing game of human foosball and a barbeque cook-off. A bouncy castle for the youngest in the group topped off the day.

“Usually, we have this softball game during county fair,” explained Priebe. “This year, construction meant that our field was full of dirt, so we couldn’t have the game.”

With the title up for grabs, the ranchers barely pulled off a win, with a final score of 17-16. A traveling trophy will be passed from the farmers, last year’s winner, to the ranchers to keep for the year. 

The barbeque cook-off, decided in a vote by attendees, was won by James Bunker who narrowly overtook Rich Pingetzer. 

Priebe adds, “This was a lot of fun for our community.”

Cheyenne – In his first State of the State Address, Gov. Mark Gordon noted a general feeling of excitement from across the state.

“I was both inspired and humbled by the wellspring of good energy that this state seems to be feeling right now,” Gordon said. “The state is excited and expecting good things from all of us.” 

He added, “ I have to say the enthusiasm we have felt over the past couple of days should give us all optimism for our future. We are a resourceful people in an amazing state at an important time in our state’s history. Let us make the most of it.” 

Though he has felt the support of the state over the past six years as State Treasurer, Gordon says he was humbled to give his first State of the State address. 

“Following close on the heels of an inaugural for only the fourth time in our state’s history, it has been, in fact, 56 years since a newly elected Gov. Hansen gave his Inaugural Address and his State of the State in the same week,” he commented.

Strength in the state

Overall, Gordon emphasized, “As I take up my part of the responsibilities that the people of Wyoming have entrusted me with, I am happy to declare the State of Wyoming is strong.”

The strength of the state, he continued, comes from its people, its resources and Wyoming’s work ethic.

With a full session already started, Gordon said, “I look forward to our work in this session as we grapple with the concerns of our people, the opportunities our state provides, sorting our budget priorities and the other issues that a general session brings forth for discussion.”

Fiscal concerns

Though 2019 General Session of the Wyoming Legislature has a much smaller focus on the budget, Gordon commented, “Let me begin by expressing my appreciation to Gov. Mead and his administration for preparing a supplemental budget that speaks to continuing Wyoming’s efforts to diversify our economy while also emphasizing the needs of higher education, local communities, effective government and state infrastructure.”

He further recognized instability created by the boom-and-bust cycle Wyoming falls into, further commenting that recent reports have left the state more optimistic at the potential for future prosperity again. 

As the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) met in early January to review and calibrate October estimates, Gordon said, “Since October, things have changed. Global volatility has increased, and oil and gas prices have declined.” 

“I believe our best times will come when we assure a reliable and stable fiscal future. It is hard to find a consistent path forward when one chases revenue, hopes for windfall or reacts drastically to downturns,” he emphasized. “It is important that we find a course where ‘steady as she goes’ becomes the watchword.” 

While responsible savings has helped stabilize downturns, discipline will continue to be important in using, refilling and augmenting savings during times of prosperity. He supports legislation to define the “rainy day” account, or Legislation Stabilization Reserve Account, to invest nearly $2 billion and assure both better returns and additional stability.

“Because all of us here run household budgets, we know there is a beauty in simplicity. Understanding the fact that a little more than one-third of our total portfolio is made up by the Permanent Mineral Trust Fund – this is money which cannot be appropriated, and another third is specific to various education missions, which are also permanent funds,” Gordon commented. “This leaves only one-third for us to work with. We really do not have money to waste.” 

The best strategy moving forward, he emphasized, is not raising taxes but rather containing expenditure and finding better ways to deliver services and find savings. 

Education

At the top of his priority list is school safety and student health, as well as stable and predictable funding. He also emphasized a need for continuing technical education opportunities. 

“Over the course of the last couple of years Wyoming, like a lot of states, is suffering from a lack of a skilled workforce,” Gordon said.

He added, “Education is changing. Our economy is changing. Today, more than ever, we need to provide the educational opportunities to enable a nimble workforce to find a job with companies right here in Wyoming.”

As a result, Gordon noted he will support efforts to find new ways for high school students and adults to continue and expand their technical education and focus on higher education.

He noted support for University of Wyoming  (UW) efforts to expand degree programs to reflect the needs of Wyoming’s top industries, saying, “UW is responding to the times and proving to be innovative in its own right.”

Local communities

“Ultimately though, to make Wyoming stronger, our focus must be on local communities,” Gordon said.

Gordan said local police and sheriff’s departments, fire halls and communities must be supported moving into the future. 

He commented, “I believe the best decisions are made closest to where the impact of those decisions is felt. It is also at the local level where individuals and entrepreneurs can spur new businesses that align with a community’s values and assets.

With Gov. Matt Mead leading the charge to provide local funding, Gordon noted he hopes to continue to move forward and improve access to services provided by the state.

In addition, Gordon supports continued access to broadband internet throughout the state and expansion of tele-health networks, along with other technology advancements, to improve quality of life for Wyomingites.

“As governor, I will support our hometowns as they chart their own courses into the future,” he said.

New leadership

Gordon noted engagement in government for individuals is increasingly important, commenting, “For those watching or listening at home, my hat is off to you for being engaged with government. The topics discussed today and bills that will be debated can only get better with citizens’ input.” 

He noted Wyoming’s advantages, including its status as a headwaters state and its clean air and water and the quality of people in the state, poise it well to succeed into the future.

“I cannot do justice to the gratitude and humility I feel to be standing here as governor and governor of the greatest state in the nation,” Gordon said. “God bless Wyoming, and God bless America.”

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Casper – As the average age of farmers and ranchers across the nation increases, a new generation is emerging in the agriculture industry and, according to American Farm Bureau Federation Director of Leadership Development Kyle Perry, there are many advantages to working together.
    “We always have to interact with people of different generations in some way, at some time,” said Perry at the Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Conference on Dec. 2-3. “It provides a lot of challenges and struggles, but it also provides a lot of opportunities.”
    “This is the first time in the history of the world that we have four generations currently active and involved in the workplace,” continued Perry, who noted that each generation has unique values, motivation and perspectives influenced by their life experiences.
    The four generations currently in the workplace, as described by Perry, are the Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y.
    Conference attendees volunteered that working with people of the Traditional or Baby Boomer generations is sometimes frustrating because they are often more resistant to technology and change.
    “I hear the same frustrations continually,” said Perry. “The older generations say the same things about Generation X and Y, only flipped.”
    At the same time, the Young Farmers and Ranchers recognized that Traditional and Baby Boomer generations have strong work ethic and are supportive of young members of the industry. The group noted that these generations have made numerous sacrificed and have strong values.
    Perry added that while we can recognize our frustrations, it is more productive to talk about the advantages of having multiple working generations, and to do so, it is important to understand the differences in each generation.
    “First, we need to increase our generational awareness to improve how we interact across generations,” explained Perry.
    “Generation Y, born between 1980 and 2000, is typically described as eager, coddled and overscheduled since birth,” said Perry, marking the ability to instantaneously connect with the world as important.
    Perry continued that Generation X is largely described as skeptical, due to the experiences in seeing impeachment, church scandal and the highest divorce rate ever seen in the U.S. He added that Generation X considers productivity to be important, in contrast to time spent at a task.
    The Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are described as optimistic, in contrast to Generation X.
    “Sense of self is connected to job and achievements,” Perry explained, “all in pursuit of the American Dream.”
    The eldest generation in the workplace was born between 1906 and 1946 and is considered Traditionals, who are driven by the ideals of sacrifice and tradition. This generation saw both Pearl Harbor and World War II and grew up with a sense of duty and loyalty.
    While dates clearly define each generation, Perry also noted that the lines can be blurred and individuals typically do not fall squarely in one box, based on their individual experiences. He also added that there are discrepancies when we apply these generational ideas to agriculture, because the studies done were largely conducted in a corporate setting.
    “Not only do you see differences, we can see similarities within every other generations,” commented Perry. “For example, the Traditionals and Generation X are very philanthropic and care about the greater good while Baby Boomers and Generation Y tend to be a little more self-promoting.”
    Perry also asked the Young Farmers and Ranchers to come up with ideas for how generations fit within the agriculture industry and how the differences can be overcome.
    Suggestions to target programs that have clear benefits for today’s volunteers but provide the opportunity to advance in organizations for the traditional generation were provided. The group also thought it is important to encourage change and adopt innovative ideas in a manner that is not forceful to accommodate members of all generations.
    “Everyone in the organization has a similar mission. It’s the way that we go about doing things that may be different,” explained Perry. “We care about agriculture and the future of the industry, so we fortunately have a common set of values that allow us to come to the table.”
    By taking the information about different generations and utilizing it to more productively discuss the issues agriculture faces, Perry said that organizations could more easily accomplish common goals.
    “Get rid of the ideas of what is challenging and think about what strengths each generation provides,” encouraged Perry. “When working with other generations, look at the advantages you really appreciate and tell them about it. Also, think about what you bring to the table that could be useful.”
    Conversations between the generations that encourage recognition of generational differences, as well as the factors that have influenced those differences, can be very helpful in accomplishing goals.
    “We have to be not afraid to take this information to the table,” commented Wyoming Farm Bureau Media and Member Relations Director Karin Clark. “I think that there are so many counties out there that aren’t afraid to change, they just don’t know how to change.”
    Clark also added that it is important to recognize the generational differences, and forcing change may be detrimental. With the support of the Young Farmer and Rancher program, the potential for a young voice and influence has been recognized in multiple situations.
    “I think in Wyoming, groups are really ready for changes,” said Clark. “We can gain from our veteran leaders, and they can also gain from us as well if we work together, remembering these generational differences and how to communicate.”
    Ultimately, Perry said, “Acknowledge the challenges that rise from the differences but capitalize on what can come from the strengths.”
    Saige Albert is editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Greybull – Hands Across The Saddle (HATS) will host its third annual fundraising event on Aug. 13, at the Community Hall in Greybull. The event will feature a barbecue, Gary Morris concert, a dance and live and silent auctions. Doors open at 4 p.m. and entertainment begins at 4:30.

PigMasters of North Carolina will cater a slow-cooked barbecue, roasting five pigs in the ground 12 to 14 hours over live hickory coals. The meat will be seasoned with eastern North Carolina barbecue sauce, and the Basin Riverside Volleyball Team will serve the pulled pork sit-down dinner with all the fixings at 5:30.

Country music artist Gary Morris will perform at the event and at a free community worship service on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. at the Greybull High School Auditorium. Morris began his musical career in the early 1980s when he produced 12 albums that generated 16 Top 10 singles and five number one hits, including “Baby Bye Bye,” “100% Chance of Rain” and “Leave Me Lonely.” His best-known recording is “The Wind Beneath My Wings,” which was the ACM Single of the Year in 1984.

Bill Brimley, Wilford Brimley’s youngest son, will also offer musical entertainment at the event. Cooper and the Crowd Thinners will provide dinner and dance music, and HATS will also host a live and silent auction.

Several years ago, actor and now Greybull-area rancher Wilford Brimley initiated the idea of an organization to help Big Horn Basin residents down on their luck. Brimley and his wife Beverly shared the idea with friends and neighbors, and others soon joined the cause.

In 2009, HATS was formed, and in a few short months it raised over $80,000 from contributions and a two-day event with a Red Steagall concert, dinner, auction and steer roping. In 2010, HATS raised $104,000 with a similar two-day event starring cowboy humorist Baxter Black.  

This year HATS featured a bronc riding in June – a date that worked well for bronc riders in the Mountain States Circuit – and raised over $25,000. The group hopes to raise over $80,000 at the Aug. 13 event, to top the amount raised in 2010.    

All contributions and proceeds from the event will benefit Big Horn Basin families and individuals in need of assistance with medical and other types of emergencies.  

“Every penny that’s raised will go into the fund. Gary Morris is donating his performance, and everyone associated with this is donating their time,” comments Wilford Brimley. “This money goes strictly to help folks who need it for travel expenses to seek medical care, a widowed grandmother who has to put back something on the grocery store shelf because she doesn’t have the money, folks who need help affording a prescription and things like that. There are no government forms to fill out, and no silliness to go through. Folks who need help should simply contact one of the committee members.”

The HATS committee confidentially reviews requests and awards funds based on need and availability.

“Most of the requests don’t come from individuals themselves,” says Beverly Brimley, “they come from friends, neighbors or family members. Some of the folks we offer to help say, ‘Thanks, but no. We’re doing just fine.’ Most of the time, people need just a small amount of money to help them get by – many requests are for $100 or less. We pay the funds directly to the creditor. For example, if someone needs help with a gas bill, we pay the money directly to the gas company. So, instead of a bill saying ‘Past Due,’ it says, ‘Paid in Full.’ Several requests are medical-related. Many people have insurance, but need help with things like travel expenses or a hotel room to get to the doctor for treatment. We consider it a hand-up, rather than a hand-out.”       

Tickets for the 2011 event are $50 a person, with only 500 tickets available.

“We may sell out, so don’t wait to get tickets,” cautions Beverly.

Tickets are available at the Greybull Building Center and Ron’s Food Farm, or by calling 307-765-4466 or 307-765-9312. For more information, or to view auction items, visit handsacrossthesaddle.org. Echo Renner is a Field Editor for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup, and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..