Women in Ag: Cowboy Girl, Jayme Thompson

Jayme is a 4th generation cattle rancher, born and raised in Mackay, Idaho. She and her husband, Matt, currently reside in Shelley. They have three sons, Jackson, Mattson and Dawson.

How are you involved in agriculture today? My husband and I have a cow-calf operation and raise Quarter horses. We raise alfalfa hay and other forages that we use to winter our cattle on. My husband is also a representative for Western Video Market, which gives us the opportunity to meet new people, see different country and ranches, and deal with a lot of cattle. 

How has your life been shaped by agriculture? I have been involved in agriculture my entire life. My husband and I are both the 4th generation of our families to be in the cattle business; and we are both so proud of our roots, and how we were raised. Because of that, I always knew I wanted to raise my family in a traditional ranching environment. We juggle the boy’s activities and school along with our work on the ranch, making sure they still get to be involved in things, even if we’re busy. It takes a team effort to make everything work, but we happen to be a pretty good one!

Photo Credit: Mystic Memories Photography

Photo Credit: Mystic Memories Photography

Who inspires you or serves as a mentor? I am inspired by all women who have walked in the shoes of being a rancher’s wife. The ladies who keep a clean house, do laundry, and have tidy yards, as well as gather cows, brand calves, and have a delicious meal on the table to feed the crew. My Grandma, Hilda Goddard, is simply amazing. She has cooked meals that have fed an army—anyone and everyone was always welcome at her dinner table. She drove the water truck, fixed fence, sorted cows, baked her own bread, made homemade Christmas presents, sewed anything imaginable, and has a love for the Lord that has been an example to us all. She is such a blessing to me, and to our family. At 93, she still manages to drive and live by herself; she’s definitely one tough cookie! I always hope to be a real rancher’s wife, just like her.

How do you provide encouragement to others? Life is so short and each day is a blessing. Never miss a chance to tell someone you love them or appreciate them. I still call people (not text), especially on their birthdays. I love sending “Thank You” cards, and I always try to put little notes inside my boy’s lunch boxes or on the mirrors telling them I love them and to have a great day!! Each day is what you make of it…choose to be happy!

If given the chance, what message about agriculture or the beef industry would you share with a large group of people? I wish the general population was more respectful of agriculture, and had more of an appreciation for what we do. I believe that a lot of people think that farmers and ranchers aren’t smart enough to do anything else, and that is so unbelievably far from the truth. It takes a lot of smarts to successfully put food of the tables of hundreds of people, especially when there is no guaranteed price for the goods we’re selling.

What are you most thankful for? I am so thankful that I was able to grow up as daddy’s little cowboy girl. I think a lot of that has to do with why I get to be married to my best friend, and can raise our boys on a ranch. I am so thankful for each and every one of my family members—I am so blessed, and I thank God for that every day. 

Part of the Thompson's horse herd, grazing on their summer range.

A portion of the Thompson’s horse herd—one of Jayme’s favorite parts of ranch life!

What is your favorite meal to cook? I hate to say it, but I’m not the handiest in the kitchen. I wish I was, and I’m sure Matt does too, but thankfully he’s not picky and always eats whatever I come up with. I do make a dish called “Spicy Baked Hamburger Rice.” It’s hardy, and has a nice little kick to it. My boys seem to like it because they always ask for it. If I need something quick and easy, I’ll throw tacos together, because they’re pretty fool-proof. This time of year I start doing more stuff in the crockpot; that way it’s ready when we get home from a long day of sorting or hauling cows.

What is your favorite store to shop in? I love to shop with my mom! We like Sundance Catalog Outlet, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, Target and Macy’s. You can always find good sales, clearance items , and coupons at those places. I also love to shop little boutiques and good antique stores, Cal Stores, and D&B Supply. Being married to a saddle maker I have grown to have an appreciation for saddle shops and good leather.

What are a few of your favorite hobbies or pastimes? I exercise a lot and try to make it a part of my every day routine. I try to stay healthy and eat right. I’m a pretty big sports fan, and its proving to be more exciting as our oldest son is now playing football and running track for the College of Idaho. I love raising our baby colts—watching them grow, selling them, and seeing what other people do with them. It makes us proud when people will call and tell us they love their horse they bought from us. We have many returning customers and it has built some great friendships. 

What is your favorite childhood memory? I have so many wonderful memories it is hard to tell about just one. Gathering cows when I was little with my family, and the pine trees would brush me off my 16-hands tall, gelding. I loved the smell of the sagebrush after it just rained, or the sun coming up over the hill when we would trot out. Going hunting with my brother before school, and hearing the sound of an elk bugling. Family dinners, church on Sundays, small town parades and rodeos; I loved high school rodeo, and the two years I qualified for Nationals. The snowstorm where we were snowed in for 9 days and had to ride a snow machine to get to the tractor so we could feed cows. Getting to drive the farm truck for the first time all by myself, calving seasons, jumping the bread loaf hay bales and “educating” the city cousins when they came to visit. One Christmas my dad cut out shapes of blocks of wood and gave them to a needy family for their kids. We also had a swimming hole on our ranch in Mackay, called Parson’s, which every kid in town knew about. We swam there every summer night! I wouldn’t trade my childhood for anything!!

Be sure to keep up with Jayme on Facebook, and Instagram!

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