Tag: Salmon

Women in Ag: Social Media Savvy Cowgirl, Chyenne Smith

Chyenne Smith was just a small town girl from Montana, working in construction when she met her best friend, and now husband, Jay Smith. They took his small herd on a leased ranch, moved into a ranch of their own and have been building it up ever since. Chyenne jokes that they “think we’ll officially have it paid off when we’re 80, but who’s counting.”

How are you involved in agriculture today? I wish I could say I was involved in more aspects of agriculture than ranching, but that pretty much sums it up with the exception of our involvement in the Idaho Cattle Association. Jay is currently serving as a board member, while I on the other hand get to sew a brand square for the quilt our local cattlewomen auction off every year. This might not sound like much (ok, I do more than that) but I didn’t know how to embroider before this, so it’s a big deal.

How has your life been shaped by agriculture? How can anyone’s life NOT be shaped by agriculture?! Trust me, I now know the answer and the reality of that question. Growing up rural, riding horses and helping on ranches when I could left me craving more. Luckily and thankfully I was able to do more. Now our whole world revolves around agriculture. Agriculture shapes how we eat, what we eat and most thoroughly when we eat.

Who inspires you or serves as a mentor? Mentors are not hard to come by in my or Jay’s family. Certainly our mothers, who both were remarkable forces to be reckoned with, in what is still referred to as a man’s world. My mother worked right alongside my father in construction. Jay’s mother grew up ranching, helping first her father, then her brother and now us. Both our fathers have taught me the value of work ethics, which have served me well in every job I have ever taken and now more than ever in ranching and raising a family.

With her love for ranch life, Chyenne couldn't be happier pushing cows through the mountains near their home.

With her love for ranch life, Chyenne couldn’t be happier pushing cows through the mountains near their home.

How do you provide encouragement to others? I have always thought encouragement was a tough recipe. My best example of this is the main reason I am a decent cook and a horrible baker … when cooking you can substitute ingredients and throw all sorts of extras in, not so much in baking if you want to eat the end result… I think it’s important to try and encourage everyone around me so, we help our neighbors, we include everyone we can that wants to be a part of the ranch and most significantly, I’ve found the most helpful thing I can do is give a kind word and often.

If given the chance, what message about agriculture or the beef industry would you share with a large group of people? My overall message, which I share daily through Facebook® and Twitter® is simple: You need to come see for yourself. All the media, hype, movies, documentaries and pictures, positive or negative in message, don’t hold a candle to actually stepping onto a ranch or farm and speaking with real people who work the life every day.

What are you most thankful for? I am thankful every day for absolutely everything … for our family, our friends, our health and for this wonderful life full of adventure an opportunity.

What is your favorite meal to cook yourself or for others? Cooking on the ranch, is my other “other job”, the one that comes with dishes… My favorite thing to cook for a crowd that’s been working to help us all day would be a nice big roast with mashed potatoes, green salad, rolls and pie. My absolute favorite thing to cook for just our family is soup, which goes back to the whole throwing in whatever sounds good at the time.

What’s the first thing you do when you get to the grocery store? Going to the grocery store is an exercise in chaos theory for me … but I usually hit the produce section first and load up on fresh vegetables, fruits and cheese.  If I’m lucky, I have a plan for meals that will direct me through the rest of my shopping experience after that.

What is one of your most favorite childhood memories? When I was 17, my uncle sent a 3 year old green broke horse for me to work and then sell. I spent the better part of the year riding her through our hills and training/practicing reining and western pleasure. When it came time to show her off to potential buyers, she was a rotten example of a good horse, no help from me. Odd, that she only performed badly when there was interest in her … My uncle, knowing how attached to her I must have become, decided to give her to me as a graduation present and now, my favorite horse to ride on our ranch happens to be her son.

For the Smith's, moving cows is quite often a family affair!

For the Smith’s, moving cows is quite often a family affair!

What are some of your favorite pastimes or hobbies? My favorite pastime is and has always been riding horses, which works out quite well with all the range riding that is required from spring through fall. In the winter months I also enjoy crocheting when I’m not tending to a calf on the porch…

You can keep up with Chyenne on Facebook, and Twitter!

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