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WOMEN

Our Mission

Empowering Women on the Land

Vision

WLA’s Women in Ranching program envisions a culture of western ranching that acknowledges and celebrates the diversity of our land stewards. We create space and permission for women to come together and find renewal in the necessary work to shape whole, healthy landscapes and sustainable food systems.

What our participants say

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Ariel Greenwood

Grass Nomads LLC

"There are no words for how valuable my relationships forged and nurtured in Women in Ranching have been to my career and to my development as a human. Finally, I have a circle of sisters who care deeply about the same things I do, and support me in practicing that care out with the animals on the land."

Andrea Malmberg

Andrea Malmberg

Buffalo Peak Land and Livestock

"There is something transformative about having the opportunity, the time, and the place to deeply listen to others whose dreams you resonate with, as well as relating to the challenges that are unique to our work. Each time I have returned home from a WinRs Circle, I have re-found clarity and a set of skills, more finely honed, to manage my resource base better and to be fully open to its influence on me."

BethGodbey Equine Empowerment CO_photo Natalie Heller_Cropped

Beth Godbey

Equine Empowerment

"The WinR circles are so unique because they provide a safe place for women, living the agricultural lifestyle, to come together, share their stories, dream and create big leaps.  There is nothing like Women in Ranching that both recognizes the importance of women in agriculture and also creates space to empower their important role in America."

Ashlyn Perry

Ashlyn Perry

Trout Stalker Ranch

"Women in Ranching is opportunity - the opportunity to gather, share, learn and grow. It is a place where we can let our hair down and figure out how we can help all the plants, animals and people that are in our care work together in harmony."

See our

Circles

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Circle 6 - Montana

Wild Rose Center

This circle formed in September 2019. The Wild Rose Center is a healing retreat center on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, in Busby, Montana.

Troutstalker Ranch Circle 5
Circle 5 - New Mexico

Trout Stalker Ranch

Trout Stalker Ranch is a premier fly fishing destination on the Chama River in northern New Mexico. They are also known for impeccable land stewardship practices. 

Circle 4 Group Picture
Circle 4 - Montana

J Bar L Ranch

The J Bar L near Twin Bridges, Montana hosted 21 amazing women for Circle 4 in August 2019. The J Bar L is a stunning working ranch doing powerful stewardship work.

Circle 3 Group Photo
Circle 3 - Montana

Diamond Cross Ranch

The Diamond Cross in Birney, Montana is home to beautiful and strong cows, elk, and women. They hosted in August 2019. 

Women in Ranching 2019

By the Numbers

81

Women served

$194,400

Value of donated goods and services by WinR host ranches

$51,000

Value of donated services by WinR volunteers

$2170

Total need-based scholarships for travel and expenses awarded to participants 

How Women in Ranching works

Generous ranch owners offer their ranch locations free of charge to our program and help to organize catering services, thereby keeping Circle membership fees low for participants. Women in Ranching provides a team of facilitators who work with the landowners and ranch staff to bring a cohort (we call them circles) of about 20 women together. Each circle comes together for a one-year, two-gathering course, with ample opportunities for peer to peer learning, leadership building and intentional community development. We emphasize permission, emergence and acceptance.

Women in Ranching Circles catalyze action: books have been written, partnerships have formed, business concepts have become reality, monthly rural women’s groups have taken shape and these women have begun to say YES to their dreams. These gatherings create meaningful progress in ranching through building an intricate, resilient network of dynamic social capital that is centered in empowering and supporting women’s work on the land. Our facilitators hold space for these women to explore roadblocks and find strength in their unique voice.

How we got started

The first Women in Ranching Circle was hosted in 2016 by Paicines Ranch, in California. Two years and several convenings later, WinR found a permanent home with the Western Landowners Alliance, a West-wide organization advancing policies and practices that sustain working lands, connected landscapes and native species.

Today, we are a growing collaborative of women who convene on host ranches to learn, play and find a renewed awareness of inner abundance and resiliency. These gatherings activate women to connect and share with each other and strengthen our collective voice for the betterment of our rural communities.

Why focus on women in ranching?

Women in Ranching (WinR) emerged in direct response to an expressed need: working-lands women throughout the West were seeking ways to connect with one another, to promote leadership and inspire creative solutions for how best to support a growing resource of female leaders.

Meet some of the Women in Ranching

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Beth Godbey

Circle 3
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Doniga Markegard

Circle 1
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Ariel Greenwood

Circle 1
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Erin Kiley

Circle 1

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Chia Thrane

Circle 3
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Beth Robinette

Circle 2
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Marissa Taylor

Circle 2
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Leslie + Mollie Dorrance

Circle 2
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Amber Smith

Circle 2
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Paigelynn Trotter

Circle 3

Stories from Women in Ranching

A new kind of cowgirl

When I first moved back to my family ranch ten years ago, fresh out of college, I was plagued with insecurities. I had been around ranching all my life, the oldest of two daughters, and my parents were very egalitarian and encouraged us girls to do anything. Anything that is, but raise cattle. I could fumble through a fence repair, and obviously I could drive a stick shift, but I felt as though I would never learn everything I needed to from my dad.

Keeping it in the family: My start down the path of succession planning

Last summer, I told my colleagues that I would be taking a sabbatical from work to develop a succession plan for my family ranch, a 300-head cow-calf operation in southern Arizona. “Succession plan” was such a nebulous term that I felt like I needed dedicated time just to figure out what it meant before I could create one. It was overdue. In 2013, one week before my son’s birth, my father had an accident while riding that could have easily killed him, and nearly did.

Birds Got no Beef with Burger

Opening the pickup door and stepping out onto native grass, the sun begins to rise amidst the sound of the dawn chorus. I listen to the melodic tinkling of a Baird’s sparrow (my favorite song, and also set as my morning phone alarm); the downward whirl of the Sprague’s pipit (my ring tone); the buzz of the Brewer’s sparrows, the joyful couplets of the McCown’s longspur. The chestnut-collared longspurs are chasing each other in play, or fight.

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Get in Touch

If you are interested in hosting a WinR Circle on your ranch, participating in a gathering or supporting this growing movement, please contact our Program Manager, Amber Smith.

The WinR Story

Thanks to the wonderful team at Seacat Creative for helping us put together Women in Ranching's story as a beautiful PDF. Download and share!

©2019 Western Landowners Alliance • PO BOX 6278, Santa Fe, NM 87502 • 505.466.1495 • Privacy Policy

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