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


  1. Congratulations Laurie. A great family indeed with a great heritage in ranching and working with livestock. I still remember Virgil and Nelie and the “century ranch” that was at the edge of the desert lands. Our family and the Lickley’s pastured cattle together for many years on that desert. I was amused by the comments under the picture of the “Three generations of Lickleys, in front of the barn on their century ranch, outside of Jerome.” That picture was taken at the IFARM Museum and not on their century ranch as the barn was moved from the ranch a number of years ago. I was glad the folks at IFARM make the effort to preserve the Lickley Barn and home for all to see and visit.

    1. Thanks for pointing out about the barn. We made an assumption about the barn photo when we posted photos, but will correct it.

Comments are closed.