For those of you who I haven’t had a chance to meet yet, my name is Haley Lockwood and I am the new Communication & Publications Director for the Wyoming Stock Growers Association and Administrator for Real Ranchers. Fresh out of college with an Agricultural Communications degree, I headed to Cheyenne for a career in the agricultural industry. I am ecstatic to hold this position. Throughout my college career, I spent most of my time in various groups and organizations that promote this industry, our livelihoods, and to educate a growing number of people who are still unfamiliar with a range of agricultural practices. As a child, it didn’t take long before I knew what industry I wanted to be in for the rest of my life and I’m happy to still be following that dream.
I grew up on a cattle ranch in God’s Country, also known as Sublette County, Wyoming on a cow-calf operation. The ranching lifestyle made me extremely self sufficient, responsible, tough, and truly happy to live off of the land. While my parents worked in town, I still spent every second I could either outside on horseback or at my grandparent’s ranch doing odds-and-ends for them around the ranch. Since I was about eight years old I rode on the historic Green River Drift, which is one of the longest cattle drives in the United States, from the high desert plains of southern Sublette County to the Upper Green River Valley until my sophomore year in college. For me, it is twenty days of heaven, riding and moving cattle for anyone who needed the help.
I left for the University of Wyoming in 2009 to run track and field for the Cowgirls and pursue an agricultural related major, but it wasn’t until my sophomore year that I declared Agricultural Communications. I was an active member of the UW Range Club, Food Science Club, Ranch Horse Team, and served as vice president for the Wyoming Collegiate Cattle Association. During this time I was an intern for the United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service as a Public Affairs Student intern in the summer of 2012 as well as a student intern for the Wyoming Experiment Station, which is housed at the University of Wyoming, in the spring of 2013. Being a student athlete and active in various student organizations led to a very busy schedule, but it was an experience that I would relive just to enjoy it again.
Between the two, I am lucky to have these experiences to better relate with our older and younger members on a personal basis. I do understand the trials, tribulations, happiness, and pride ranching brings, but also the heartache of leaving the ranch. Now that I am in the office, for a large percentage of my day, I feel a sense of sadness not riding this summer, but also pride for representing such a great association and group of people. I felt a lot of worry that I wouldn’t fit in, but soon found out after the 2013 Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show that every single one of the members, staff, and officers are “my kind of people!”
I feel relieved to have these people, but also the chance that I can reach out to you all as well! I look forward to your stories and feedback. With each word typed I can only hope that I can change just one mind, for the better, about the agricultural industry and the livelihood that means so much to all of us.
Please contact me and I look forward to getting to know you all!
– Pleased to meet you! –