Wyoming symposium focuses on networking, education for women in agriculture | TheFencePost.com

Wyoming symposium focuses on networking, education for women in agriculture

Jennifer Blanke

Young woman with laptop standing on field in sunset and looking at tractor baling

It was all smiles and laughter on Nov. 11 at the Ramkota Hotel in Casper, Wyo., when keynote speaker, Greg Petersen, spoke about being and advocate for agriculture. Petersen, of Petersen Farm Brothers, showed many of the group's parodies they've made that have gone viral via social media.

Peterson was one of the speakers at the 23rd annual Wyoming Women in Agriculture put on by the Wyoming Women's Ag Symposium. Over 100 women from all parts of Wyoming attended the all day conference on Friday to hear from a vast variety of speakers and their expertise within the agriculture industry.

The Petersen Farm Brothers are a group who make parody videos, including "I'm Farming and I Grow It", "Farmer Style," and the that caused those in attendance the most laughter: "Jurassic Farm," a video about the last known T-Rex farmer.

Petersen encouraged all the women at the symposium to start sharing their story about their own agriculture operations. His advice was to take the initiative to become an advocate for the industry, do what they can because every little bit counts and to always support each other.

Petersen said it doesn't matter how you advocate, as long as you are getting the story out. He recommended sharing the story through social media, print and publications, personal conversations with others, and even giving tours of personal agriculture operations.

Deanna Bradshaw, ranch wife at the Brow Ranch, from Rolling Hills, Wyo., said her favorite part of the symposium was listening to Petersen speak.

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"He really brought to light what we can do on social media in sharing our love and passion for farming and ranching." Bradshaw said. "I haven't done any advocating with social media yet, but I think it would be really cool to."

Bradshaw is originally from Spanish Fork, Utah and said it's often hard to explain to her family and friends from back home about her lifestyle now.

"They sometimes just don't understand the Wyoming lifestyle and what it is really like to ranch here in Wyoming," she said.

The Brow Ranch operates very traditionally in the aspect of cattle work.

"We rope calves and drag them to fire during branding," Bradshaw said. "I would love to start telling the story this year on social media and let the public know the different ways to do things."

Traci Faxon, the president of Wyoming Women in Ag, said she was happy with the turnout and the execution of the symposium.

"We had some incredible speakers and we are using a new facility this year that was very nice. The women seemed to enjoy themselves and learn a little something new," she said.

Saige Albert of Casper, Wyo., said during the departure of the symposium, you could hear many women say they hope to see one another at next year's symposium.

"It is just really fun to get all the women together," Albert said. "This is just really a time that the women get to get off the ranch and come and socialize and catch up with each other. We have so many events that we attend to support our men, its nice to get to do something just for women."

Faxon said it's important the women are keeping educated in the industry and taking the time to network with other women who go through similar struggles they go through and keep making connections with others in the agriculture industry.

"Agriculture is just so important." Faxon said. "We had a few young women attend today, and just for them to have this experience is so beneficial for them. They really are the future of agriculture and if we don't keep this going, then we won't have anything to support them."

The Wyoming Women in Agriculture is a non-profit organization that focuses, mostly, on their annual symposium.

"I bet everybody that was here today was able to take something away and be able to bring something back to their operations. That is the whole goal," Albert said. ❖

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