HELD AT THE NATIONAL WESTERN COMPLEX IN
A bus will be available for transport to the NW Complex if you are at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel - please check box on registration form if you plan to ride the bus.
Producer Forum- Women in Ranching (WIR)
This session highlights leading women in ranching in the United States. The panel is seasoned and diverse and includes women with non-traditional backgrounds and those whose families have been in the business for several generations. The objective is to get a breadth of perspective as to what ranching is to them and why women are critical to the mission of sustainable ranches. The concept grew from the Western Landowner’s Alliance’s WIR network: to create opportunities for leadership & skills development; build a strong peer network in support of personal growth & care; and promote land management best practice which sustain whole & healthy lands.
The Women in Ranching panel invited are:
Pat Pfeil, FL (moderator); Mary Budd Flitner, WY; Ashley Hibbard, MT; Julie Sullivan, CO; Nancy Ranney, NM; and Mimi Hillenbrand, SD.
Pat Pfeil has represented the International SRM on the National Grazing Lands Board of Directors since 2004. Pat and husband Brady are Natural Resource Managers for a 9th generation Florida agricultural family. They have worked as partners in managing the Carlton family holdings in Florida since 1978 and Georgia since 2006. They have developed ranches and managed the Bar A Brangus registered herd, commercial cattle herds, citrus groves, Bahia sod production, timber stands, vegetable, hay and seed production plus maintained a viable wildlife population providing for the Carlton family hunting tradition. Pat oversees the cattle production and grazing management along with all record keeping.
Mary Budd Flitner has been a prominent rancher in Wyoming for more than fifty years. She is the author of articles in High Country News as well as various WY and MT newspapers. Her recollections on a lifetime of WY ranching begins with the story of her great grandfather, Daniel Budd, who in 1878 drove a herd of cattle into Wyoming Territory in what is now Sublette County. Four generations later, Mary grew up on the same ranch near Big Piney. After she married husband Stan, she moved to the Diamond Tail Ranch in the Big Horn Basin. While the cowboy life often evokes romantic images of handsome men moving droves of stampeding cattle through perilous conditions fraught with risk and adventure, Mary offers an authentic story of ranch life with all its experiences and challenges woven together with the ties that bind she and her family to the land she loves.
Ashley Hibbard is an artist and lives on the ranch where she helps with various ranch activities. She works part time for a microbrewery in Helena and rents studio space near the brewery. She is a graduate of Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and attended the Vermont Studio Center for a month-long fellowship in 2014.dents on Feb. 17th.
Nancy Ranney spent her childhood years on a farm in northern Illinois raising and showing horses and came to New Mexico as a teen when her parents bought a ranch near Corona. She has a graduate degree in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning (MLA, Harvard University Graduate School of Design.) She manages the Ranney Ranch for the Ranney family and is inspired by the \
741 Coalition and has instituted regenerative range management practices and land conservation partnerships. She also manages the Ranney Ranch Grassfed/Grassfinished Beef program and is currently President of the Southwest
Grassfed Livestock Alliance (SWGLA) and a member of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association.
Julie Sullivan was born and raised in California. After working as an actor, arts administrator, and starting a private progressive preschool in Seattle, she earned her Master’s in Environmental Education and subsequently taught interdisciplinary environmental education at both undergraduate and graduate levels for the Audubon Expedition Institute. She spent those years challenging students to look beyond surface conflicts between environmentalism and agriculture, and to see the common values and goals shared by both points of view. After over a decade living outside teaching for the Expedition, Julie joined George on his certified organic, grass-finished cattle ranch in 2001. Julie works with the Quivira Coalition New Agrarian Program as mentor support and serves as the Quivira representative on the National Agricultural Apprenticeship Learning Network, working to expand opportunities for young agrarians.
Mimi Hillenbrand has been running the 777 Ranch for the family for 15 years and has worked on the ranch since she was a kid. It has always been her dream to run a ranch in the West. She has always had a passion for the land and all that lives there. Mimi completed her undergraduate studies at The University of Montana and received a BS in Wildlife Biology and received her Master’s in Agricultural Sciences from Colorado State University. She has studied Holistic Management and has been practicing it for over 30 years. Mimi has the best outdoor office, works with amazing people, and loves the bison and land, which teach her something new every day.
2020 NWC Co-chair