(307) 631-2810

Wyoming Ag Leadership

For release: Feb. 6, 2013


For more information:

Kim Kittel, Marketing and Public Relations

Wyoming Business Council

Office: 307.287.2170

Email: kim.kittel@wyo.gov


Wyoming ag leadership program graduates 12th class


CASPER, Wyo. –Fourteen Wyoming producers and agribusiness men and women from around the state graduated from the Wyoming Leadership Education and Development (L.E.A.D.) program’s Class 12 at a ceremony in Saratoga, Wyo., in January.


The 14-month training program, sponsored in part by the Wyoming Business Council’s Agribusiness Division, began in November 2011.


Throughout the program, fellows participate in educational seminars in an effort to enhance their leadership skills and understanding of all aspects of agriculture and policy making. Eight seminars were held in Wyoming, one in Washington, D.C., and an international study seminar was held in Ukraine.


Class 12 graduates include:

· Ashlea Bassett, of Buffalo, is a service specialist with Sheridan College in Johnson County and a sales associate for Chase Brothers Properties. Bassett has been involved in production agriculture her entire life, including working on her family’s ranch.

· Barry “Slim” Cook, of Cody, owns Cook Land and Livestock Brokerage in Park County. In addition to being self-employed in the cattle brokerage and real estate business, Cook is an active member of the Cody Volunteer Fire Department.

· Deanna Crofts, of Riverton, is a case manager for the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. She and her husband also operate a cow/calf operation in Fremont County. Crofts was named Fremont County Ag Woman of the Year in 2011 by the Riverton Chamber of Commerce.

· Juliet Daniels, of Cheyenne, is a community development educator with the University of Wyoming Extension, where she works with local governments and nonprofits to increase their capacity to address community issues.

· Sherri Foust, of Worland, is the county executive director for the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency. Foust grew up on her family’s farm in Oklahoma raising grass hay, oats and beef cattle; she continued this tradition for the next 20 years raising cattle of her own.

· Brendon Grant, of Glenrock, is a ranch hand and working partner on his family’s ranch, Grant Ranch, in Converse County. As a lifelong rancher, Grant has worked in agriculture in a variety of capacities including overseeing 400 head of Black Angus.

· J.W. Hendry, of Lysite, along with his wife, brother, and parents owns and operates Clear Creek Cattle Company in Natrona County. The ranch consists of 2,700 head of Black Angus cattle and more than 500 acres of grass hay. He serves on the board of directors for the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.

· Alex Malcolm, of Kinnear, is a 4-H educator with the University of Wyoming Extension providing programming for livestock producers and 4-H youth. Malcolm is a member of the Wyoming and National Association of Extension 4-H Agents.

· Mary McAleenan, of Kinnear, is an ag producer operating a 275-acre farm and ranch in Fremont County for hay and alfalfa, as well as a 10-lamb herd for wool production. The wool from her operation is woven into rugs and throws which she markets at craft shows.

· Eámon O’Toole, of Savery, is a fifth generation owner/manager on his family’s ranch, the Ladder Livestock Company in southcentral Carbon County. O’Toole is developing an AI program to improve his family’s cow/calf operation by changing the herd into a Black Baldy program. He also helps with the family sheep operation when needed.

· Scott Priebe, of Riverton, along with his wife is the owner and operator of Wyoming Ag Marketing, LLC. He grew up farming and ranching on his family’s operation in Indiana and purchased his own farm in the late 2000s. He received an honorary membership degree from the Shoshone FFA chapter in 2011 for coaching the state’s youth FFA winning marketing team.

· Cheri Steinmetz, of Lingle, is a self-employed insurance agent, farmer and livestock producer for Rawhide Quarter Horses and Cattle and Ameritas Financial Services. She is involved in her family’s farm near Lingle where they raise corn, hay, cattle and Quarter horses.

· Jenny Walker, of Lusk, is a ranch hand for DeGering Livestock Inc., in Niobrara County where she is working with her uncle and grandfather on their cow/calf operation. She’s also involved with her parents’ operation in South Dakota.

· Brenda Younkin, of Jackson, is the director of the Conservation Research Center for the Teton Science Schools, Inc. Her position includes consulting on public lands grazing and monitoring, as well as coordination of research programs.


“This was a great group of individuals, with diverse backgrounds,” said Cindy Garretson-Weibel, Agribusiness director for the Wyoming Business Council, who oversees the L.E.A.D. program. “With the skills, knowledge and personal growth they gained through the L.E.A.D. program, they will be a great asset to Wyoming agriculture.”


Recruitment for Class 13, which will start in the fall, is underway. For more information on the program, contact Cindy Garretson-Weibel at cindy.weibel@wyo.gov or 307.777.6589.


Wyoming L.E.A.D. (http://www.wylead.org/) was established in 1984 with a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to establish a rural leadership program. L.E.A.D. is sponsored by the Wyoming Business Council’s Agribusiness Division and the Wyoming Agricultural Leadership Council (WALC).


The mission of the Business Council is to facilitate the economic growth of Wyoming. The Business Council, a state government agency, concentrates its efforts on providing assistance for existing Wyoming companies and start-ups, helping communities meet their development and diversification needs, and recruiting new firms and industries targeted to complement the state’s assets. For more information, please visit www.wyomingbusiness.org.

L.E.A.D. Class 12 participants include: Back Row (L-R) Eamon O’Toole of Savery; Jenny Walker of Lusk; Alex Malcolm of Kinnear; Scott Priebe of Riverton; Brendon Grant of Glenrock; Mary McAleenan of Kinnear; Slim Cook of Cody; J.W. Hendry of Lysite; Sherri Foust of Worland. Front Row (L-R) Kim Porter, program coordinator from Cheyenne; Brenda Younkin of Jackson; Deanna Crofts of Riverton; Cheri Steinmetz of Lingle; Ashlea Bassett of Buffalo; Juliet Daniels of Cheyenne; and Cindy Garretson-Weibel, program director from Cheyenne.  WY AG LEADClass

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