Day Writing: My little corner of the paper
August 18, 2016
This industry of ours is filled with the best of people making their living in farming and ranching. They're a humble, hardworking, proud bunch who have been around forever. What a blessing to have been born and raised in the middle of those people and in the heart of Wyoming ranch country. It's also quite an honor to be able to write on their behalf, first by telling their stories, and now by telling stories to them.
I began my writing career in college when asked to do a column for the Branding Iron Newspaper at the University of Wyoming while also working as the Photography Editor. Following graduation with an animal science degree I was eventually hired as the assistant editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup, where I learned much about writing editorial. After a couple years I left my position and moved back to my parents' ranch in northern Niobrara County, at which point I decided to attempt freelancing.
My parents were supportive, if a bit skeptical. The thing about writing is you don't look very busy talking on the phone and plucking away at the keys of a computer, particularly to those in ranching who judge busyness by how much sweat you're producing. But, they gave the idea a shot, and over time, I was able to build a business that provided a steady workload. I will always be appreciative to the first three publications that gave me a chance, one of which was Tri-State Livestock News.
For the last five years, I have had the opportunity to cover just about everything related to livestock or crop production agriculture to the tune of over 100 articles most years. I love the challenge of finding and providing busy farmers and ranchers with the news they need to know to be successful. It's important work, and I've never taken it lightly.
Within those five years I also met and married my wonderful husband, Charles, who came with a place he bought and inherited at 18 that has been in his family for five generations. He, understandably, wasn't very interested in leaving, so following our 2013 wedding I moved to western South Dakota. Our first year of marriage brought many challenges, from pinkeye in all our cattle to the Atlas Blizzard, and my writing income became a very important and necessary thing.
But, God is good, and about the time our son Lyle was born in June, 2015, we decided the writing could slow down so I could be a fulltime mom and help more with our operation, specifically the very labor intensive hog side of things. Yes, we have pigs!
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However, dropping writing entirely was tough. The editor of Tri-State and I discussed the possibility of a column, and over the past year it has been in the works. Once I started getting six to eight hours of sleep again, I began pursuing it, and here we are with my first piece!
I hope you enjoy all what is to come. There will be harrowing tales of sheep, cattle and hog wrecks. Highlights of memorable days, lessons in parenting and marrying a fellow person raised in ag (because that's always smooth sailing), and countless other bits and pieces of our lives. Thank you to everyone who has backed my career, and those who always ask when they'll see my name in print again. It's very humbling to have so much support, and I hope you enjoy what this column brings to the paper.