The Value of Wyoming Agriculture



by Doug Miyamoto, Director of the Wyoming Department of Agriculture

Wyoming agriculture is strong. Wyoming is one of the few states in the last Census of Agriculture to add agricultural lands and ranked first in average size of farm and ranch in the country. Not only does ag in Wyoming contribute more than a billion dollars annually to the state economy, it also preserves the open spaces we all love as well as the culture and heritage that make Wyoming great. Simply put, agriculture is imperative to the State of Wyoming economically, culturally, and historically.  

While this is widely known in the state of Wyoming, the agriculture industry sometimes falls to the back of people’s minds as generations move further from the farm or ranch. It’s important to take this opportunity to talk about the positive impacts this industry has not only on the state of Wyoming but the United States and World. It’s also important to recognize the challenges our industry faces so citizens can understand the issues this vital industry faces to provide food and fiber.

Wyoming agriculture continues to move in a positive direction. Along with the money Agriculture brings to the economy in Wyoming, agriculture brings great value to the state of Wyoming. Agriculture provides the open spaces we love and stewards of the land who care for it by protect the land in ways that are beneficial to everyone in the state. Not only do our producers work the land, they sustain and preserve it for future generations while providing habitat for wildlife and other uses.

While the agriculture industry provides these significant values to our state, arguably the most important are the people.  Hard working, honest, and value driven, these citizens provide quality products for their family, community, state, nation and people around the world. The people from the agriculture industry are great citizens who can be, and are ambassadors for this way of life. 

While I hope younger generations that want to return to the ranch or farm will have the opportunity if they choose, their agricultural backgrounds will still serve them well moving forward if they have other interests. Our industry and others benefit from more Wyoming ranch kids occupying important positions regardless of what career they chose. The connection they have to agriculture can be shared with a multitude of people outside the industry. While there are many worthwhile professions within agriculture that can be explored, there are other opportunities to spread the positives of agriculture around the state and country.  Along with this, there is room in the agriculture industry for those with no agricultural background. They can provide fresh perspectives and ideas to help move the industry forward. We all depend on a thriving agricultural system in our state and country.

Even with all the positives farming and ranching provides, there are always challenges to our industry. From a lack of knowledge about agriculture in the general population to policies that make agriculture difficult like the Endangered Species Act and Waters of the US, there are plenty of issues our industry faces. While those issues remain, we will work hard as a department and an industry to face those challenges and continue to provide the positive benefits of agriculture. Like always, the resilience and toughness of Wyoming’s producers ensure the agriculture industry in Wyoming will prosper in spite of the challenges the agriculture industry faces.





Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x