Archive: November 2015

Women in Ag: Idaho Cattle Association President, Laurie Lickley

Laurie Lickley is a native of Salmon, Idaho, and a tried-and-true University of Idaho Vandal, graduating in 1990. She and her husband, Bill, along with their two children (Valene and Cole) currently reside on the family’s century farm and ranch in Jerome. Aside from the daily ranching and farming operations in Idaho and Nevada, Laurie has served Idaho’s beef industry from the local to national level in various leadership positions for the Idaho Beef Council, Idaho Cattle Association, and the National Cattlemen Beef Association. In 2004, Laurie was awarded Idaho CattleWoman of the Year. In her spare time, Laurie volunteers with Jerome Rotary, and with Beef Counts, a partnership between Idaho’s Beef Industry and The Idaho Foodbank.

We would also like to mention that today is Laurie’s first day serving as the President of the Idaho Cattle Association! Having a Cattlewomen at the helm of such a prestigious organization is an honor for us all, and we can’t wait to see what great things she will accomplish in the upcoming year!

How are you involved in agriculture today? Our family farms and ranches in both Idaho and Nevada. I’m a big believer in being involved in the groups that keep our industry going; groups like ICA, the Beef Council, and NCBA.

How has your life been shaped by agriculture? I subscribe to the theory that everyone must have food, shelter and clothing. Agriculture and the natural resource industry provide those, and we are rewarded that our generational families provide us with that ability to continue making a difference every day in everyone’s life—both domestically and abroad. We all have to eat, and quite frankly, the number one source of protein is beef. It provides more bang-for-your-buck than any other protein source on the market.

Photo Credit: Carol Ryan Dumas

Photo Credit: Carol Ryan Dumas

Who inspires you or serves as a mentor? I have been fortunate to have had many mentors along my industry leadership path. First and foremost, I owe a debt of gratitude to Joe Tugaw for his mentoring in my early years. He and Gene Davis, Dave Nelson, and others whom I’ll reserve credit (still living) helped shape my leadership style. I miss them dearly. I am wholly inspired by Justice Sandra Day O’Conner who was raised on a ranch on the Arizona/Nevada border and was the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court by President Reagan. Her book Lazy B, with whom she penned with her brother Alan Day, actually portrays many of our lives today. Justice O’Connor’s approach to process and practicality motivate me.

How do you provide encouragement to others? Identifying the next generation of industry leaders is important to all organizations and especially to me. Oftentimes, we get so caught up in playing defense that we forget offense may be more important in winning the battle. We’ve got to engage the offense!

My mantra is write it down, make it happen. We set life, professional and business goals 25 years ago when we got married. My children, each year, write down their annual five, 10 and 20-year goals. Where do you want to be and how do you want to get there? Let’s make it happen; I’ll help.

If given the chance, what message about agriculture or the beef industry would you share with a large group of people? When my alarm rings at 5:30 a.m. every morning and that first cup of coffee awaits, I know the job that I have ahead of me that day and every day is a job I love. See #2.

Three generations of Lickleys, in front of their barn, which was relocated and preserved at the IFARM Museum.

Three generations of Lickleys horseback in front of their barn, which was relocated and preserved at the IFARM Museum.

What are you most thankful for? I am very blessed to have an amazing healthy family. My father-in-law is the best; we have good, sane, well-rounded children, and with an empty nest Bill and I still enjoy each other’s company (or he says he does, ha!). I am simply blessed.

What is your favorite meal to cook yourself or for others?  I am a big ribeye steak girl, medium rare on the Traeger! Prior to last month, my best steak may have been a typical Prime steak from the freezer; however, I recently had an Akaushi steak, which created an “umami” overload. I still have two steaks in the freezer….add a beautiful bottle of red wine and a veggie salad, and I’m in heaven. My family loves a good steak, although they say my meatloaf is pretty tasty too!

What’s the first thing you do when you get to the grocery store? Perimeter, perimeter, perimeter and meat case! I really like WinCo and usually check out the meat case for interesting conversation and selection (when excess beef is needed I do shop Costco), etc. FYI, they just changed up their meat case; maybe they were inspired by all the millennial consumers buying beef these days.

What are a few of your guilty pleasures? Beef—No guilt here, though—it’s delicious and nutritious, coffee, red wine, a good book, and exercise. I’m pretty easy to please!

What are three little known facts about you? 1) My grandfather rowed for Columbia University in the mid 1930s, just before the 1936 University of Washington team won the Olympics in Germany (you must read “The Boys in the Boat”). After practicing medicine in Republic, Wash., he was elected Spokane County Coroner.  2) My mother played half-court basketball at Washington State. 3) My father had an Outfitting and Guide Business in Salmon in the late 1960s and 70s with a former Fish and Game Director.

Follow Laurie along in life on Facebook and Twitter!

Categories: Beef, Blogging, Idaho Cattlewomen, Lifestyle, Ranch Life

Women in Ag: All-Around Cattlewoman, Jessie Jarvis

Jessie Jarvis is a born and raised Idahoan, with a strong passion for promoting agriculture. She graduated from the College of Idaho in 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. She and her husband currently ranch alongside her parents in King Hill. Prior to moving home, Jessie spent almost three years working as the Communications Director for the Idaho Cattle Association. When she isn’t out doing ranch work, Jessie still manages to maintain a career in marketing and communications. She is also a regular contributor to the Idaho CattleWomen blog, covering anything from the first calf of the season to sharing the recipe for her Mother-in-Law’s famous Taco Salad.  

How are you involved in agriculture today? We have a cow-calf operation, and a small farm where we primarily grow alfalfa and silage corn. Very, very rarely do our crops get sold, because we grow them specifically for the purpose of feeding our own livestock. No two days are alike, which is part of why we love what we do! I’m also very passionate about telling the story of agriculture whenever I get the chance. To me, it’s very important that consumers have the opportunity to better understand where their food comes from, and who is producing it.

How has your life been shaped by agriculture? Agriculture truly has made me who I am today. I am so lucky to have been born into such an amazing industry with such inspiring people. If I had to use a single word to describe agriculture, “selfless” would be at the top of the list. The “leave something better than you found it” mantra is a common thread between every one of us, and it’s something we carry far past the farm/ranch setting. Knowing that those around me are constantly making things better, not only for themselves, but for those to come, really helps me hold myself to a higher standard. 

Who inspires you or serves as a mentor? This is actually a difficult question for me to answer, because I truly can’t narrow it down to one single person. However, if I could have lunch with three people, I would probably pick Kadee Coffman, Laura Bush and Miranda Lambert. I have a deep respect for each of them, and know I could glean a lot of wisdom from such a diverse group of instrumental women.

One of Jessie’s favorite places on her family’s ranch, is their barn. It’s an original structure that was there long before her grandparents bought the ranch back in the early 1940s. Photo Credit: Maggie Malson

How do you provide encouragement to others? I will be the first to tell you that we’re all faced with our share bad days and difficult situations, but regardless of how terrible things may seem, there’s always a silver lining. For that reason, I’m big on positivity. You can’t do great things in life if you’re surrounded by negative thoughts from negative people—so I always try to help others think in an optimistic manner.

If given the chance, what message about agriculture or the beef industry would you share with a large group of people? Food is the one subject where everybody thinks they’re entitled to an opinion. I’m all for people gathering information and basing their opinions off their conclusions, regardless of whether they agree with me or not. But it bothers me to know that people aren’t posing their questions to those who know food best. There’s a reason WebMD® can’t give out prescriptions, but a real doctor can. The same applies to food. If you have questions about what you’re feeding your family, make sure that one of your information sources is someone who actually produces it!!!

What are you most thankful for? Ranching is not an easy business, especially for two “kids” in our 20s, like Justin and I. I am so thankful that we are able to work alongside my parents—two of the best in the business—and have the chance to soak up all they have to offer in terms of wisdom and insight.

I’m also thankful for all of my “biggest problems.” I know that’s kind of a strange thing to be thankful for; but when I look around at the rest of the world, even my biggest problems are so miniscule! Those issues are what remind me of how easy I have it. I’ve got a great husband, loving parents, supportive friends, good horses, great health, a roof over my head…the list is endless!

What is your favorite meal to cook yourself or for others? If I’m cooking for myself, regardless of the time of year, I love a good steak salad. People think salads are so boring, but they’ve obviously never tried one from my kitchen. I always mix an array of things in—my salads are never lacking in flavor, but still so healthy!

What is your favorite childhood memory? Growing up as an only child I spent a lot of time with just my parents. We were never big on watching TV, so quite often we spent many summer evenings riding horseback through one of our Bureau of Land Management (BLM) permit fields. Initially those outings were where I first learned to ride. As I got older, my Dad would test me on my knowledge of different grass species, or tell us stories of the things they’d do in the same area, when he and his sister were my age (like trying to catch a “pet” coyote).

JessieJustinICWSelfieIn recent years, I’ve also grown quite fond of the first memory I have of meeting Justin. Our families have known each other forever, but my first memory of him is from when we were six, at an Elmore County Junior Rodeo. I still have a newspaper clipping from that rodeo that says something to the effect of “All-Around, Jessie Thompson; Reserve All-Around, Justin Jarvis.” I joke that it was probably the first and last time I ever beat Justin in anything rodeo related!

What are a few of your guilty pleasures? I love a glass of red wine!

Favorite store to shop in? Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I love to shop. By no means would I dub myself as a shopaholic, but I love being able to show off my uniqueness and creativity through a well put-together outfit. If I get a chance to make it to the mall, the first place I stop is Bohme—they have a great variety of stuff, and none of it is too expensive. Since ranching keeps me so busy I end up getting a lot of my stuff from online boutiques. A few of my favorite shops are The Rusty Rose, Southern Trends, Redford Ranch Style, and Mesa Dreams Leather!

Be sure to keep up with Mrs. Jarvis on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!


Categories: Beef, Blogging, Cattle, Idaho Cattlewomen

Women in Ag: Livestock Marketing Communicator, Kim Holt

Kim Holt grew up on an eastern Washington farm where her family raised wheat and Hereford cattle. After graduating from Washington State University in agricultural communications, she moved to Kansas City. There she worked for the former American Polled Hereford Association for nearly six years then a veterinary publishing group for four years. Kim and her husband, Scott, met because of cattle, and were married while working in Kansas. In 2000, Scott took a position with Allflex USA, which brought them back to Idaho. Kim and Scott have two kids, Emilee and Ben.

How are you involved in agriculture and/or beef industry today? In Idaho, I established a home-based writing business that focused around the beef industry. I did this for 16 years; it has been a great way to stay involved with work while raising our family. My writing has also been a great background for my current job with MWI Animal Health, where I work in livestock marketing communications. I am a big proponent of youth and livestock projects, including Emilee and Ben’s Hereford herd that has been 11 years in the making. I volunteer with 4-H, our state’s junior and senior Hereford associations, and our family enjoys its time helping promote beef with the Idaho Beef Council. Ben also started a Boer goat herd, and I enjoy that aspect of ag too.

How has your life been shaped by agriculture and/or beef industry? I was born into agriculture, the third generation on both sides of our family. Growing up on a farm, that was our life and Herefords were always a part of it, being a great love of my dad’s. The love of cattle and livestock production, along with the knowledge of being a contributor to food production, is a passion of mine and our family’s.

In 2013, the Holt's gained a purple banner from the Western Nugget National Junior Hereford Show.

In 2013, the Holts gained a purple banner from the Western Nugget National Junior Hereford Show.

Who inspires you or serves as a mentor? My husband Scott. He rises early, always works hard and is determined to make a difference. I am also inspired by the faith held by both of my grandmothers.

How do you provide encouragement to others? I try to look at the bright side—the glass is half full, not half empty. And prayer is powerful.

If given the chance, what message about agriculture or the beef industry would you share with a large group of people? People who produce food for a living do so with great passion, caring about their land, animals and the safety of the food products they produce. Our family is no different with the livestock we raise.

“Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.” – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, philosopher

What are you most thankful for? My faith, family, friends, freedom, health, the spirit of community and that we have a warm place to call home. Our family is very lucky to have some of the best friends ever. And I’m also really thankful that we’ve been able to raise Em and Ben up as ag kids, appreciative of the circle of life, self-sufficiency, hard work and integrity.

What is your favorite meal to cook yourself or for others? Hereford ribeye steak with 5-Star spinach salad, buttery baby red potatoes, French bread with in-season raspberries over Tillamook French vanilla ice cream and warm, from-scratch brownies.

What is your favorite childhood memory? Being raised on a farm there are many, but one of my favorite is taking bulls with my dad to the Lewiston Hereford Week Bull Sale each year. Also going with my dad in the cattle truck—yes, that had cattle racks—to move cattle to and from Connell. Each time, on the way home, we’d stop for Pepsi and Cheetos.

For the Holt's, showing livestock is a family affair.

For the Holts, showing livestock is a family affair.

Favorite place to visit? Lake Louise and the Canadian Rockies

What are three little known facts about you? 1) I’m from eastern Washington. 2) I worked on an Australian feedlot for seven months. 3) I’m a lover of tadpoles (a favorite childhood memory with my two sisters).

Categories: Beef, Blogging, Cattle, Lifestyle, Ranch Life

Women in Ag: Small Town Superwoman, Jodie Mink

Jodie Lanting Mink grew up on a family farm and ranch south of Hollister, Idaho, with her parents, brother and sister, as well as aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. She always felt comfortable working cattle and learning from anyone that was willing to share. She participated in 4-H for 10 years, taking steers and heifers to the Twin Falls County Fair, a place where her family is still known for having some of the best stock. Jodie attended the University of Idaho, graduating with an Animal Science/Agribusiness degree, with minors in public relations and communications and began a master’s degree program in Agricultural Economics. Jodie and her husband, Justin, were married shortly thereafter, and in 2005 moved back to his family’s ranch in Cambridge. Together they have three sons, Jayden (15), Jarret (12), and Jace (8).

How are you involved in agriculture and/or beef industry today?  My involvement in the beef industry has many different aspects. I briefly worked as an educational outreach coordinator for the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission before taking a full-time job with the Cambridge School District as the agricultural education teacher and FFA advisor. I see 95 percent of the students enrolled in Cambridge High School in one of my agricultural classes every day! The opportunity to reach these students and educate them about the beef industry and agriculture is an honor. I also assist on my husband’s family ranch, Mink Land and Livestock. My heart is content when my entire family is able to work alongside each other riding, packing salt, putting up drift fence or stacking hay. My role on the ranch is also to provide outside income. My father-in-law Russell Mink once commented that the ranch has success because the wives bring in outside income. My mother-in-law Peggy Mink and I both take comfort in knowing that our jobs outside of the ranch help to keep this multi-generational ranch moving forward. Educating my own kids, as well as my students at school about their role in the use of natural resources, the production of a safe and quality protein source, as well as their responsibility in the conservation and management of the land for sustainability for years to come is my true passion in life.

How has your life been shaped by agriculture and/or beef industry? I remember from early age learning from my parents, Bob and Rhea Lanting, about the importance of animal husbandry, how to make hard decisions, the results of hard work, and ultimately that my life would always include this lifestyle. My parents often laugh about why my sister and I both married into family ranches that often include few vacations and long hours. I guess the answer to that question is best summed up by saying….What other job do you get to see nature in its ultimate beauty, work with hardworking, honest people who have similar visions, as well as work side-by-side with your family daily to provide food for a growing nation? I hope that I also can pass along that inborn love of agriculture to my three boys.

Who inspires you or serves as a mentor? My FFA students and my own kids inspire me. I have learned that if I provide the tools and resources and create a learning atmosphere that is engaging, there is no limit to the successes that my students will experience. They motivate me every day to be a better Ag teacher. To see my FFA students walk across the state at both the state and national events proves that small agricultural communities are producing the future leaders for our industry. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Jodie credits her students and FFA chapter members, as being one of her life's biggest motivations.

Jodie credits her students and FFA chapter members, as being one of her life’s biggest motivations.

I have two mentors that I currently use to “check” my ideas, and realign my focus. Julie Kerner and Pam Schwenkfelder are two women that I so admire. Their love and relentless time spent working toward the betterment of our beef industry is admirable. I often look to them for leadership, help with balancing family and ranch responsibilities, as well as the importance of being a productive member in the community. They might not know that I am watching their actions, but I find both of them to be strong leaders in our industry, thus I try to emulate these qualities in my daily life.

How do you provide encouragement to others?  I hope to provide encouragement for others by providing enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is contagious. If I am able to simply provide the initial excitement, others buy-in quickly. About eight years ago, I was contacted about starting a Progressive Agricultural Farm Safety Day for youth in our area. At first it was difficult to get the key community members on board. But with some persistence, our Cambridge Ag Safety day is a highlight in our community. This year we topped almost 100 participants and 60 volunteers. Because of that awesome turnout, I actually did very little for this huge event. Everyone in the community is now vested in this wonderful program and comes together to provide the education and resources for it. That all started with an idea and a little enthusiasm.

If given the chance, what message about agriculture or the beef industry would you share with a large group of people? We need to share the stories of family ranches. People that are purchasing our product need to make those connections to our Idaho beef families, the role we play in caring for the land, and the mission we have as key components in communities around Idaho is essential.

During last week's Idaho Vandal football game, the Mink family was named CHS Farm Family of the Year!

During last week’s Idaho Vandal football game, the Mink family was named CHS Farm Family of the Year!   Photo credit: Autumn Lynn Photography

What are you most thankful for? I am most thankful for my family, my friends, my students, and the agricultural community I live in. In August of this year a spiteful mosquito gave me the West Nile virus, which led to viral meningitis. My inability to teach school or even take care of my family’s needs has truly opened my eyes to the importance of relationships. The Cambridge and Midvale communities have helped me and my family extensively. Small agricultural communities are the true heartbeat of our nation. Relying on neighbors and assisting others when needed is ultimately the reason Justin and I have chosen to raise our children in this community. I am thankful for a wonderful rural school that allows individual growth with an enormous amount of agricultural-influenced curriculum. I am looking forward to getting back to school in January, and assisting my husband on the ranch. As much as this illness has frustrated me, I am thankful for the life lessons in humility, patience and setting priorities.

What is your favorite meal to cook yourself or for others? I love my Crock-pot and my Traeger grill. Nothing beats a tender roast with potatoes and carrots after a long day. My kids love hamburger pizzas on the grill. Using a simple pizza dough recipe, I grill individual sized rounds on the grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. I then allow the kids to individualize their pizza. Favorite toppings include hamburger, olives, tomatoes, artichokes, spinach, and mushrooms. After topping with cheese, they go back on the grill for another 3-4 minutes to melt everything to perfection! They are an absolute favorite.

What is the first thing you do when you walk into a grocery store? The first thing I do when I walk into the grocery store is to make sure that my kids and husband are not with me! I am a very organized person and attack the grocery store with a plan. I only shop in a larger grocery store every 2-3 months, so it’s also essential that my large white cooler is loaded in the car! My local community grocery store provides all the weekly needs!

The Mink family celebrates the success of their kids, after a local fair.

The Mink family celebrates the success of their kids, after a local fair.

What are some of your favorite pastimes and/or hobbies? I LOVE sports! I enjoy all aspects of sports, especially watching my kids participate in football, basketball and baseball. I am a little bit competitive and often get excited at games, so my husband often selects a seat away from me! I also enjoy taking pictures and entertaining family and friends in our home.

What are three little known facts about you? 1) I am a Vandal through and through. I used to have duct tape in my classroom that I would use to cover up logos and names of that “other” university on students’ shirts and sweatshirts. 2) I really don’t like chocolate, but I do love salt water taffy. 3) I love to write little notes to everyone. My kids and students might find them stuck in their book, slid into their locker, or handed to them before an important contest or game. Many of my FFA students keep these notes of encouragement in their FFA jackets. One student told me that when she is having a bad day, she pulls out all her notes and finds new inspiration.

Be sure to keep up with Jodie, by following her on Facebook, or by following the Weiser River Cattle Association!

Categories: Beef, Blogging, Idaho Cattlewomen, Ranch Life

Women in Ag: All-Around Ranch Wife, Trish Dowton

Trish is a born and bred Idahoan, growing up in the mountain town of Salmon. Trish’s dad was the Ag Extension agent there for more than 30 years, while her mom served as the school librarian. Trish graduated from the University of Idaho with a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture Economics in 1990. Trish and her husband Stan have been married since 1991, and have two daughters, Dani (23) and Loni (22).

How are you involved in agriculture today? Stan and I have owned and operated the Dowton 3X Ranch, a commercial cow operation in Pahsimeroi Valley, since 1992. I love the cows and spend a lot of time caring for them during calving season, riding on summer ranges, and doing almost all cow work, in general. I also irrigate, run hay equipment, pay the bills and keep up the financial records.

How has your life been shaped by agriculture? Agriculture is my life. I’ve always loved animals, and being able to take care of them and live where we do means everything. I am also very glad that we were able to raise our girls in this lifestyle.

Who inspires you or serves as a mentor? My dad, Bob Loucks. He always has a positive outlook and tries to see the best in everyone.

The Dowton 3X ranch makes it's home in Idaho's Pahsimeroi Valley, south of Salmon.

The Dowton 3X ranch makes its home in Idaho’s Pahsimeroi Valley, south of Salmon.

How do you provide encouragement to others? I try to be positive and get them to believe in themselves. I’ve also tried to encourage people to take advantage of what is available to them, and to appreciate the little things in life, like beautiful sunsets and good horses.

If given the chance, what message about agriculture or the beef industry would you share with a large group of people? Well, we often preach to the choir, but if we were talking to city people I would say that we try to take the best possible care of all our animals, and we really do try to raise a great beef product that is healthy and sustainable.

What are you most thankful for? My family and this lifestyle.

What is you favorite meal to cook yourself or for others? Beef Tri-Tip on the grill, with twice baked potatoes and a salad.

What are your guilty pleasures in life? Horses and chocolate.

What are some of your favorite pastimes and/or hobbies? Horses, team roping and reading.

One of the busiest seasons on the Dowton 3X Ranch, is calving; but Trish doesn't mind the work one bit!

One of the busiest seasons on the Dowton 3X Ranch, is calving; but Trish doesn’t mind the work one bit!

Favorite place to visit? Places in the mountains where there aren’t many people.

What are three little known facts about you? I earned an “A” in calculus during high school, I was a member of a successful meat judging team in college, and I used to show reined cow horses—I loved going down the fence!


Categories: Beef, Blogging, Cattle, Idaho Cattlewomen, Ranch Life