Imagine a world where cattle were sold right from your smart phone. Wait a minute, there is no need to imagine. Currently, there is a way to sell and buy cattle from any smart phone, tablet and/or computer. A new technology has become the chatter of the agriculture community this summer and that technology is AgriClear. AgriClear is a membership based community that gives livestock producers and buyers, the opportunity to get the best deal in the cattle market.


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Reported on the AgriClear’s webpage, the new technology has many benefits and expands markets. Producers can market their cattle throughout the United States and Canada using the web. As buyers, AgriClear has options to specifically search and select cattle based on breed, weight, type, condition, location, feed programs and health certifications. Buyers can watch for their preferred suppliers through online updates.  The data that sellers place online allows for many opportunities that were never available in the sale barn. Sellers can set their own price and conditions using the AgriClear features. Photos, videos, health and other information about individual cattle can be provided. The seller gets to pick the best offer and negotiate a mutually satisfactory price. After the cattle are sold and both the producer and buyer are happy, shipping details will be specified through the online site.

AgriClear is supported by two companies called the TMX Group and NGX, both with valuable roles in the agriculture industry. TMX Group is a financial business that operates markets such as equities, fixed income and energy. NGX provides electronic trading and data services to the North American natural gas and electricity markets. The ultimate goal AgriClear would like users to understand is, “this online platform allows members of the AgriClear community to streamline the marketing process and expand opportunities to both buy and sell cattle across the U.S. and Canada—of all breeds, types, and attributes.”

Buying and selling cattle just became easier. Imagining a world where cattle producers bought and sold cattle on their phones is here! With AgriClear the solutions to expanded markets, lower transaction costs and payment assurance shouldn’t have to be imagined because it is a reality.

For more information follow the links below:

AgriClear –


TMX Group –

Written by: Kadi Davis, WSGA Intern


In April of 2015 Dr. William Larson, previous Research Economist at the Bureau of Economic Analysis finished research on, “New Estimates of Value of Land of the United States”. He began describing how “land is an important and valuable natural resource, serving both as a store of wealth and as an input in production”. Dr. Larson’s research describes the estimated value of all the land in the United States with an estimated value of 1.89 billion acres worth around 23 trillion-dollars in 2009. Even more interesting, he analyzes the total value of the lower 48 states.

As Wyomingites and proud residents of this beautiful cow country, we place a high value on our land. Despite our individual thoughts, Dr. Larson’s paper explains otherwise. Of the 1.89 billion acres of U.S. land, agricultural land contributes 47 percent; federal government lands reach 24 and at the lowest developed or urbanized land are at 6 percent. Nearly half of the U.S. soil is occupied by agriculture, yet of the 23 trillion-dollar value of the U.S. land, only eight percent of the assets are contributed by agriculture.

On the other hand, developed and urbanized land totals 51 percent of the 23 trillion-dollar estimate. Six percent of the urbanized U.S. land, values at around 12 trillion-dollars. How should agriculturalist make sense of land values and its use based on this research?

Using many sources listed in his published paper, Dr. Larson’s total estimate describes that developed land is worth on average 106 thousand dollars per acre, while agriculture land is only worth on average two thousand dollars per acre. So where does Wyoming fall on the value list? Unfortunately this places Wyoming last on the list. The Cowboy State only contributes 62 million acres of land worth only 90 billion dollars, the lowest out of all the states. The reason for this calculation is that Wyoming has large amounts of agriculture land and federally owned land, which according to Dr. Larson’s paper are the two lowest valued lands of all the uses. The research argues that low development contributes to Wyoming’s placement in the research. Only one percent of Wyoming is developed, as a result Wyoming suffers for their lack of little urbanization on the scale of land value. According to Dr. Larson’s research, developed areas increase the value of the land by almost 100 thousand-dollars.

After reading the recently published research by Dr. Larson, I question the consequences, both good and bad that may follow as a result. Although the paper was not biased and was factually based, this document may create more awareness of for land values per state. If urbanized lands are considered to hold a higher value and “store more wealth as an input in production” individual states may push for urbanization throughout their borders.

Wyoming residents enjoy the wide open spaces and the culture that is provided with large agriculture production. So as agriculturalist how can we strive to increase the value of our lands? In the research certain factors determine the value of land which include; the land type, ecosystems currently existing on the land, importance of the area and urbanization. Urbanization includes transportation costs and potential development.

Well one thing is for sure, agriculturalists understand the importance of their land. Agriculture land sustains life providing food for humans and other species. With the global population rapidly growing, agriculture land use is becoming extremely important. The demand is growing for agriculture production and the land supply is limited in result the value agricultural land should only increase.

Agricultural land provides many more benefits than livestock or crop production, ag land provides a diversity of ecosystem services that are not available from developed land. Wildlife rely on agriculture land to reproduce and sustain life, including varieties of species from rodents, to birds and large elk and deer. Not only does agricultural land support animal species but it provides various habitats for plant and insect species that are vital to the production of crops and vegetation. By being good stewards of the land and becoming more sophisticated in the marketing of these ecosystem services, there is potential to increase the value of agricultural land.

There are ways for agriculturalists to increase the value of their lands including, making their lands more accessible, placing conservation easements, or otherwise marketing the conservation services that they provide. If you are interested in further information Dr. William Larson’s recent study is linked below, you might be surprised what there is to learn.

Written by: Kadi Davis, WSGA Summer Intern

We are excited that March will bring the first day of spring along with National Ag Week. Starting March 23rd – 29th National Ag week will be in full swing, but we decided why just start on the 23rd? So our contest is starting March 17th and will end March 28th. We want to gain as much participation as possible from you, your neighbors and friends. Let your friends know!

If you would like to learn more about National Ag Week please follow this link for more information:

Contest Date: March 17th – March 28th (National Ag Week: March 23rd-29th, special recognition to March 25th as National Ag Day!)

Contest Options:

Cutest Kids in Ag

Young cowboy riding miniature bull at the Wyoming State Fair during Star Spangled Banner

Photo by Liz Lauck of Wheatland, Wyo.

  • Do you want to share how cute your kids are? Take photos of your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or friends out on the ranch or farm
  • Send them into Haley Lockwood ( and she will post them to the RealRanchers Facebook page
  • The photo with the most ‘Likes’ at the end of the contest will win an agricultural related children’s book

WYO Calf Watch 2014

Whose got the cutest calf crop this year? We'll let you be the judge!

Whose got the cutest calf crop this year? We’ll let you be the judge!

  • Calving season is in swing and we want to see your calf crop for 2014! Take photos of the new babies while you are out calving, checking, doctoring or just admiring their cute faces.
  • Send photos to Haley Lockwood ( and she will post them to the RealRanchers Facebook Page
  • The photo with the most ‘Likes’ at the end of the contest will get a chance to pick from a selection of Wyoming Stock Growers Merchandise

The Rancher and Farmer: How I work in Ag

Rancher Nikki Marincic watches the Price-Sommers cattle during fall gather near Pinedale, Wyo.

Rancher Nikki Marincic watches the Price-Sommers cattle during fall gather near Pinedale, Wyo.

  • For ALL Ranchers and Farmers
  • Submit your agricultural story and tell us how you work in agriculture and why it is important to you!
  • Story may have up to 5 photographs included
  • We ask that stories be no longer than a page in length
  • Story due: March 21st 
  • Submit story, and photos, to Haley Lockwood at
  • Story will then be judged by the WSGA staff  and the selected  Rancher and Farmer will win a one year Membership to the Wyoming Stock Growers Association
  • We will then post the winner’s story to the RealRanchers blog during National Ag Week!

Wyoming History Quiz Bowl

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How much do you think you know about Wyoming? 

  • Every other day starting March 18th we will post history questions related to anything Wyoming on the RealRanchers Facebook page! ( March 18, 20, 24, 26, and 28th)
  • First correct answer will win a special prize related to Wyoming

We look forward to your participation in the National Ag Week contests and if you have any questions please contact Haley Lockwood at!

It’s about 7 degrees right now, which based on recent temperatures, is downright warm.

I’ve been taking advantage of the frigid temps by staying inside and doing some office work. One of these projects was to organize the files on my computer. As I looked through 2013 photos, I ran across these images highlighting a visit from several Canadian producers.


Our friends, Brook Brockman with the Wyoming Department of Agriculture and Haley Lockwood from the Wyoming Stock Growers Association guided a tour in October 2013 for Jolene, Andrea and Erika of the Canadian Cattlemens Young Leaders, along with Pamela Rose of the Canadian Consulate in Denver.


The Wyoming ladies took the Canadian gals on a tour of several SE Wyoming ag operations including our small, family farm where my husband and I raise corn, dry beans and malt barley. We’re anything special, we just can’t say no when people ask us to do stuff.

I gave the gals a general overview of our farming operation. And by general, I mean the very little I actually know about our operation. I’m still a farm wife in training.


Then I took them down to the field where my Farmer Husband was combining corn. He gave them the real story. It was really cool to compare operations. The gals were from different parts of Canada, so we got some different perspectives of livestock production and farming from our neighbors to the north.


Pamela gave us some neat goodies that represent the trade partnership between the US and Canada. Included was a handout that gave specific statistics, including the fact that in 2011, $17 million worth of goods were traded between Wyoming and Canada. Visit this website to learn more. I also urge you to visit Erika’s ranch blog! The neat thing about agriculture is, even though our operations vary greatly from state to state and country to country, we all share a lot in common.

From RealFarmer Liz Lauck – Wheatland, Wyo.

Read more from Liz at

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From our WSGA friend and contributor, Roy Barnes 

Denver, Colo. Once again, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) participated in the Wyoming Day Festivities of the National Western Stock Show Saturday, Jan. 25, by taking down a group of Wyomingites from Cheyenne for a day trip so they could enjoy the sights and sounds of the event, the 108th in total that showcases the best of rodeo cowboys, ranchers, plus other livestock and agricultural producers over a 16-day period.

I was invited by the WSGA to cover this trip, but my observations in this article were not vetted by the organization.

Some 40 people took part in the Wyoming Day festivities that the WSGA organized, including those who drove themselves to the stock show, which helped to get the grand total stock show attendance to 640,022, according to a Jan. 26 National Western Stock Show press release

The crowd included Myra Hannah, whose “centennial ranch” (a ranch that’s been in the same family for 100 years-plus) is some 30 miles from Wheatland, Wyo. She has traveled down to the stock show via the bus ride for several years with her daughter, though she does have some fond memories of a time when the trip was made via train from Cheyenne to Denver and back, saying it “was a little slower, but very interesting,” especially when she got to sit in the observation car to take in the sights during the late 1960s/early 1970s. But she keeps coming back because, “I…enjoy it. It’s a handy way to go and interesting to be with the group, for I know some of the people” who take the annual bus trips.

Scott Sims, who has a cattle ranch in Albany County, Wyo., came down with his wife and daughter for the first time by bus. He commented that he doesn’t get a lot of leisure time due to his duties at his ranch, but appreciates the opportunities “to get away form the ranch [to have] a little vacation time, family time.” Furthermore, he like to see the numerous exhibitor booths and stands that feature the latest in farm and ranching equipment “because you learn what the new technologies are, the new exhibits to check out to bring back home to help make changes in the operation.” He was hoping to check out the draft horse show, an event which actually took place in the early afternoon.Picture 028There were plenty of activities going on throughout the day both inside and outside, where the weather was very sunny and mild. One could pay a fee to pose with a Texas Longhorn, while another booth was charging to pose with a bald eagle or an owl, which drew a steady of crowd of onlookers taking pictures with their own cameras. Even longer waits could be found (10-15 minutes) on the second floor of the Exhibition Hall where the petting zoo was located. Here, children and adults got the chance to not only pet, but feed the sheep, lambs, goats, kids, ducks, geese, and pigs (the latter wouldn’t look at anyone, but kept their snouts on the ground to forage for food). One little lamb was laying down by itself along a wall of the petting zoo, not trying to freeload off of the humans like all the other friendly animals were.

The luncheon at the National Western Club featured a buffet which included prime rib, brisket, and Polish sausage, along with potatoes, salads, desserts, etc. Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, First Lady Carol Mead and their children attended the luncheon.

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After lunch, the participants had time to take in more of the goings-on of the stock show such as a bison auction and the draft horse show. Colorado State University once again displayed a large farm exhibit to educate the stock show goers about the importance of agriculture in the daily lives of everyone. This included demonstrations and talks by beekeepers, and hands-on exhibits where people could look at and handle various kinds of grains, including oats, millet, and barley.

The rodeo was deemed the equivalent of “The AFC and NFC Championship Games,” per the public address announcer, who also spoke of God and His role in the lives of cowboys and cowgirls, much to the approval of the 8,000-plus in attendance, who also heard the announcer espouse the appreciation for the state of Wyoming’s role in agriculture. Gov. Mead and officials of the WSGA took part in the 6-Horse Stage Coach Hitch in the arena between the team roping and saddle bronc riding events. The top finishers of the events such as bull riding, tie down roping, barrel racing, etc., were set to compete in the finals on Sunday.

Before another feast or spare ribs, brisket, baked chicken, and smoked sausage with all the trimmings at Nordy’s BBQ in Loveland, Colo. Cynthia Cloud and Mark Gordon, two high-ranking Wyoming State Government officials, spoke about their tine at the stock show. Cloud, the Wyoming State Auditor, said that the trip was her first to the National Western events, and added, “I enjoyed the draft show. I was amazed how the draft horses were, [that is], how the participants in the competition took such pride in their horses, buggies, and carts. What really surprised me is that there was something for everybody there.”

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And Gordon, the Wyoming State Treasurer, while a past attendee of the stock show many times, was also on his first trip by bus. “I really loved the saddle bronc. I used to calf rope, so I liked it, though it’s called the tie-down now,” he said. Gordon described the Wyoming Day group as one full of “good camaraderie – good folks to go with.”

I left Cheyenne early last Saturday morning to drive to Buffalo, Wyo. for the Johnson County Cattlewomen’s Rancher Relief Benefit. I first heard of the event over social media, specifically Facebook, and knew that I wanted to help. Little did I know that it would also not only help the CattleWomen, but also create lasting ties to a great group of ladies and the community of Buffalo.

Several weeks before the event was to be held, I called up my closest girlfriends, who are also closely tied to the agricultural industry, to help me. They, of course, were more than happy to help for the cause. We met that Saturday afternoon to start setting up in one of the coolest buildings I’ve seen in a long time. An old feed mill was our stage for the night and we had a great time decorating and creating an inviting atmosphere to the locals of Buffalo.

A wide array of silent and live auction items were donated and proudly displayed for all to see. Anything from home décor, stallion services, and hunting trips were available to a willing bidder, and there were many willing bidders. Many of the live auction items went for over one thousand dollars adding to the funds accumulated over the course of the night.


The Wyoming Stock Growers Agricultural Resources Center Basket – Donated by: Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Wyoming Beef Council and Wyoming Stock Growers Agricultural Land Trust


Community members look over silent auction items donated by individuals near and far.

After Blizzard Atlas hit, many producers and those with ties to the agricultural industry were in shock. The aftermath left around 20,000 cattle dead, fences down, and hearts broken. It’s a loss that no one can fathom, but some had to face this reality. Pictures on local news stations and newspapers depicted the sight of strange black dots strewn along faraway fences, draws, and the landscape. It was hard to imagine all of these far-off “dots” were dead cattle and the reminisce of one producers livelihood. Any business who suffers a 50 percent loss is going to have a hard time coming back, and what happens to those who had a loss of 70 percent or more? Absolutely devastating.

Rapid City Journal Photo

Photo by: Rapid City Journal

Funds were immediately put into place to counter act the destruction that was left behind. It was amazing to see the outpour of help over the course of several weeks, but there was more to combat here than just the destruction. There were misconceptions and scrutiny from the American public, who are several generations removed from agriculture. I remember reading a post online asking, “Why do you care about these people. You don’t even know them?” My first reaction was shock. After any other natural disaster, a flood of help and ways to donate nationally are plastered at gas stations, online, at the grocery store and on the news. What’s the difference?

As far as I’m concerned, it’s synonymous. We take care of our own and understand loss on a deeper level. It’s not just a monetary loss, but one that digs to your core. These are animals you care for on a daily basis and you rely on them as much as they do you. Seen from generation to generation, we help our neighbors in any way possible. Whether it be the ranch wives coming together to plan supper for the branding crew or saddling up to move yearlings that escaped; we are always there for each other. Working toward a common goal and livelihood that we hold dear. This camaraderie left many of us wanting to do more for these producers and we did just that.

Live Auction Items

Several of the live auction items went for over $1,000 easily.

That night of November 16th the Johnson County CattleWomen raised $26,000 for the Rancher Relief Fund. My girlfriends and I were amazed, but not surprised that this community came together so willingly to help those in need. I’ve come to realize that we need more selfless giving in America and in the world. The girls and I didn’t get paid to help, we were paid in new friendships and a delicious beef dinner; much like the brandings every year.


The old feed mill near downtown Buffalo, Wyo. was filled to capacity during the benefit dinner and auction.

As we welcome in the Thanksgiving Holiday, I can honestly say that I am thankful for a lot more things than before and I already have a lengthy list. I have faith that our close-knit agricultural community will thrive in years to come and that not even Mother Nature can stop us. Disasters like this may hinder us, but if nothing else, make us fight harder for our livelihoods and each other.


Gleason Ranch

Risking Everything

… is a documentary film in-the-making that tells the story of two sisters struggling to hold onto their 5th-generation family ranch after the sudden death of their parents. It’s a labor of love that’s been unfolding for over four years, and the work to finish this film continues to this day.

I first began filming on Gleason Ranch after I met Nancy Prebilich while working on another project several years ago. I was inspired by her story and within a few weeks I made my way up to Bodega to meet her folks (her parents, her sister Cindy, and her niece and nephews) and begin documenting their lives working the land. It was a particularly important time for me because I was looking for a way to connect with my own family’s history of farming. You see, my mom, grandmother, and great-grandparents grew up on a 3rd-generation family farm in Badger, Iowa, but, as my mother passed away in 2002, there was no way for me to ask her all the questions about her childhood that had surfaced in the past decade or so. What was it like growing up on a farm? What did it take for a family to take care of the land and the animals over the span of generations? What did it mean for them to be so closely in touch with our nation’s agricultural production? What did that feel and look like? Spending time on Gleason Ranch provided for me an opportunity to better understand my ancestry, roots, and heritage, and get a true sense of what it was like for my own family living on a ranch.

Gleason Ranch

Throughout filming, I began to gain a deeper appreciation for small farmers all across the world. It’s been difficult watching these sisters, Nancy and Cindy, struggle to earn a living, pay the bills, and maintain their own sanity amidst such intense circumstances. There is this incredible balance that the Gleason family has had to strike between sacrificing everything to hold onto their land, while at the same time maintaining positive relationships with each other.

Anything I could say regarding the real, down-and-dirty, in-the-mud work it takes to run a small family farm these days would be an understatement. It’s unfathomable how difficult and taxing this job is. And imagine trying to balance all of this right after the death of both parents. This is the reality that Nancy and Cindy had to deal with. This is the reality that this film delves into. And this is the beginning of a heart-moving story that I’d love to bring to you.

Protecting our environment–our land–is such an incredibly vital act, and it’s not easy in the least bit. In making this film, we hope to raise awareness of family farmers and their communities everywhere. What they do for our society is so significant to our health, sustainability, and wellbeing. Gleason Ranch has been giving back to its community for 5 generations. Our food security as a nation depends on families just like them.

These last four years documenting life on Gleason Ranch have truly been a tremendous journey. It’s been an intense and fulfilling experience, and I’m hoping to be able to share it with you.

For more information and to see how you can support our effort to finish the documentary please see our page here:

Thank you so much.

Morgan Schmidt Feng
Edited by Nicholas Carter

To learn more:

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