Women in Ag: Simplot Land Manager, Darcy Helmick

Darcy was born and raised on her parent’s ranch, based in Mayfield, Idaho. During college, Darcy fought fire for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and continued to help her parents on their ranch. After a short stent working for the Idaho Department of Lands, Darcy was hired on at J.R. Simplot Company, in the Land and Livestock Division, as a monitoring specialist. Darcy is also an alumnus of the Leadership Idaho Ag program, graduating from Class 32.

How are you involved in agriculture today? Currently, I am the land manager for Simplot Livestock Company based in Grand View, Idaho. There I manage all of Simplot’s public land grazing allotments, working with federal and state agency staff, Simplot managers and cowboys. I am on the board for three Rangeland Fire Protection Associations, including Saylor Creek, Three Creek and Black Canyon, and am a member for the Shoshone Basin RFPA. I also serve as the public lands chair for the Idaho Cattle Association (ICA), and am the delegate representing Idaho at the Public Lands Council. In my spare time I help my parents with their cow-calf operation. 

How has your life been shaped by agriculture? Both sides of my family have been involved in agriculture, long before I was born. My parents started their cow-calf operation just before I was born and have continued to expand it over the years. Growing up living on a ranch and showing 4-H animals, I learned the importance of hard work, persistence, patience, communication and good hard work!


A photo of Darcy and her brother Chad at his wedding, along with his bride and their grandparents.

Who inspires you or serves as a mentor? There are far too many people in my life, past and present that have inspired me and serve as mentors to list. However, obviously, my parents have given me the gift of being raised on the ranch and learning all of the life lessons that go along with that. It is an opportunity that if every child was blessed with, this country would be a much better place. Their parenting taught me the importance of hard work, dedication and commitment, which have made me the person I am today.

Probably the person who has served more as a mentor than any other would be Chuck Jones. He was the land manager that hired me on as a monitoring specialist for Simplot. He told me once that even though I might not be qualified; I had the heart and he could teach me the rest. And boy did he try!! His retirement led to my promotion, and his phone number is at the top of my “Favorites,” or what I refer to as my “help” list, in my iPhone. Also high on that “help” list is my good friend and mentor Michael Guerry. We often spend what seems like hours discussing issues, and I believe I have told him on more than one occasion it is a good thing that I don’t live close enough to have coffee with him every morning or we would never get anything done! 

How do you provide encouragement to others? I try to find the positive in any situation – even if the only positive is that nothing is ever a failure if you learn a lesson from it. 

If given the chance, what message about agriculture or the beef industry would you share with a large group of people? Recently there seems to be a lot of talk going on about our food supply and what should and/or should not be in it. Although we all know it, it is amazing how many people know so little about our industry. I think the message that we need to share is how safe the food and fiber we produce for this population really is, and how without the advancement in technologies that we have made, we would never be able to feed the world sustainably.

What are you most thankful for? I am most thankful for being born into and raised in a ranching family. It is an opportunity that most are not provided, and I am thankful that I had the experience. I am also thankful for the opportunity to work for a company that allows me to continue that lifestyle.


What is your favorite meal to cook yourself or for others? I love to cook meatloaf, with scalloped potatoes and green beans. Also something fun once in a while is the Pioneer Woman’s steak with Whiskey Cream Sauce! 

What is your favorite childhood memory? Spending a week at the Elmore County Fair in Glenns Ferry with my closest friends and family.

What are some of your favorite pastimes and/or hobbies? I love to go home on the weekends and help my parents work cows. I also love to ride my horse just for fun, although that doesn’t seem to happen much anymore. I love to hunt and fish – especially in fun and new places. I love exploring new country and traveling to other countries is fun too. I also love to read.

Favorite place to visit? My favorite place to visit would have to be Prairie, Idaho. When I was growing up, it was always an adventure to head north to visit the family, especially when adventures were in store with my cousins. As an adult, it is still my favorite place to visit, although I don’t get there nearly enough.

Be sure to keep up with Darcy’s busy life on both Instagram and Facebook!

Categories: Beef, Blogging, Idaho Cattlewomen, Lifestyle


  1. It is wonderful that we have a woman like Darcy looking out for our way of life. She is a common sense kind of woman. She has road and worked the land. “She knows how to ride for the brand”.

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