LARAMIE—The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) Young Farmer & Rancher (YF&R) Committee elected Albany County Rancher Stacy Berger to her first term as the WyFB YF&R State Committee Chair.

“I am really excited for this opportunity,” Berger said. “I’m hoping to be the kind of leader that will inspire others to take the next step of involvement and really ask the question of what can I do for agriculture through Farm Bureau.”

The Farm Bureau YF&R program includes men and women between the ages of 18 and 35. The program’s goals are to help younger Farm Bureau members learn more about agriculture, network with other farmers and realize their full potential as leaders in agriculture and Farm Bureau.

Berger is thankful for the leadership and agricultural advocacy training she and her husband have received through Farm Bureau. “It has been such a blessing to us because of the way the Farm Bureau program targets young people in production agriculture,” she said. “Before our Farm Bureau involvement we were working on our family ranch but we didn’t feel like we could talk completely about agriculture issues even though we were in the middle of them. We both had 4-H and FFA experiences, but we needed that next step like YF&R to give us an extra edge in talking about the issues.”

According to Berger, training through YF&R experiences has increased their confidence and knowledge. “I feel confident to go to our elected officials and tell them how issues are affecting us as young people in agriculture,” she explained. “It is rewarding to be a voice for young agriculturalists as well when our legislators ask us questions because they know we are involved in agriculture.”

Leadership and advocacy training are important components of the program. Another important component is networking. “Farm Bureau truly is a family and it has been fun to meet other young people from around the state,” Berger said. “Getting to know them and their farms and ranches as well as discussing the similarities we are all dealing with in agriculture has been rewarding.”

Berger succeeds Cole Coxbill who served two terms as state YF&R Chair and is currently the American Farm Bureau Federation YF&R National Chair. “I’m excited to follow Cole’s leadership,” Berger stated. “Cole is a leader that inspires others to better themselves. He has been an inspiration to work that much harder.”

This position also has a seat on the WyFB Board of Directors. According to Berger, she is looking forward to serving on the WyFB board as the young farmer and rancher representative to get a broader picture of the work done by the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation.

From Albany County, Stacy and her husband Kyle have four kids and work on her family’s cattle ranch. Their children are the sixth generation on the ranch: Kaden, 14; Bayla 5; Bryndal, 3; and Bexton, six months. The Bergers began their Farm Bureau involvement with the Albany County Farm Bureau Federation. They continue to be active in the county Farm Bureau serving as county YF&R committee chairs and Kyle Berger is the new ACFB president.

Berger would like young farmers and ranchers to know the opportunities within Wyoming Farm Bureau’s YF&R program are vast. From leadership training to educational events to competitive events, there truly is something for everyone.

“I’m hoping to lead by example by being involved in competitive events and inspire others to compete because it is something that takes your advocacy to the next level as far as speaking and being in front of people,” Berger concluded. “I’m hoping people will be challenged and encouraged to do the same thing for themselves.”

Berger looks forward to working with fellow committee members in the coming year. Toni Swartz, of Campbell County, was elected state vice chair; Kailey Barlow, of Sublette County, was elected secretary and Rachel Grant, of Converse County, was elected parliamentarian. Rounding out the WyFB YF&R Committee are district committee members: Raenell Taylor, Crook County; Nik Kennedy, Platte County; Jake Buckhaults, Goshen County; Chalsey Kortes, Carbon County; Tony Micheli, Uinta County; Kolter Schuebel, Park County; and Garrett Horton, Big Horn County. Cole and Sammie Coxbill, of Goshen County, were named ex-officio members of the committee.

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