More Livestock than People: Wyoming AGvocacy Week and Livestock Production

by Sheridan Stewart, Wyoming FFA Vice President
Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

When discussing Wyoming’s economy often the phrase that is seemingly overused but is seemingly too true is a variation of: “…the big three industries; minerals, tourism, and agriculture.” Often times the first dominates any conservation around the economy, the second is perceived as the coolest of the three, and the third can often be brushed to the side. The irony of this becomes clear when the facts that the state contains approximately as many sheep, and double the number of cattle as there are people.

While these numbers are impressive the impacts the livestock industry plays in the lives of the individuals living in our great state is more impressive. According to the USDA, Wyoming’s cattle industry brings in over 600 billion dollars of revenue into the pockets of Wyoming’s ranchers. Combining this with all other livestock facets in Wyoming has a trillion dollar industry on our hands. With an industry this size, if Wyoming was ranked as its own country, it would have the 50th largest agricultural economy in the world!

Our ag economy, which can comparably stand on its own against the rest of the world,
still has the lowest count in the nation of the most important resource of the world: people. Being
able to maintain an industry at the highest level while lacking in size of population; speaks of the
greatest volumes to the abilities, strength, and diligence of the farmers, ranchers, and
agriculturalists of Wyoming.

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