Wyoming’s heritage is founded in agriculture because its people are founded in agriculture.
Harriet Hageman, a Cheyenne based water and natural resources attorney and Wyoming’s newest gubernatorial hopeful, recalls her agricultural upbringing.
“I remember at Christmas we could not open presents until our livestock were cared for.”
Hageman grew up on a ranch west of Fort Laramie with six siblings. They all began working on the ranch at a young age: moving cows, fixing fence, pulling windmills, checking and feeding cows. Several of her siblings remained in production agriculture, and while Hageman’s path may have lead her off the ranch, she clings tightly to the way she grew up. Hageman’s law practice serves irrigation districts, ranchers, farmers, local governments, and more. Her primary focus has been to protect property, water, and civil rights.
Outside of her professional life, Hageman advocates for agriculture by talking about her experiences. She credits 4-H and FFA as well as ag education in high school and at Casper College for helping her become the public speaker and advocate she is today. In the next decade she fears that agriculture will face overregulation like taxing cattle production and excessive federal control of water rights.
Hageman wants all FFA members to understand just how important advocacy is for agriculture.
“While I am not in production agriculture, I consider myself to be a part of the ag family. We must fight to protect our ability to care for the land and our water. We must fight misinformation and political agendas,” she explained.
She called for FFA members to take an active role in serving the ag industry. “Stay active; educate yourself; identify risks and challenges and work to overcome them; stand up for our industry…” she pleaded.
Hageman also encouraged FFA members to become involved in the political process.
“Learn both the Federal and State Constitutions – know your rights and fight to protect them.”
She believes in agriculture for reasons that she describes as “too numerous to list…” She understands how essential agriculture is to our state and our nation as a whole. She fights for the industry she grew up in and loves in her personal life, in the court room, and, potentially, from the Capitol Building.
by Trey Campbell, Wyoming FFA President