SHERIDAN — The Wyoming Stock Growers Association is a group that embodies the code of the west. During the new frontier, cowmen and their herds had no law to regulate the range. Without any written law, homespun regulations created gentlemen’s agreements to maintain certain rules of conduct to survive.
The WSGA was created on April 4, 1872, as the state’s second cattlemen organization to serve the livestock business and families of Wyoming by protecting their economic, legislative, judicial, environmental and customs.
The club’s history is rich with Wyoming cattlemen who took an active personal interest in the cattle business, which rings true for newly-elected First Vice President David Kane. Kane is a rancher in Sheridan who grew up as an active member of the WSGA. He served as the regional vice president from 2007-2009. Kane stepped down as an officer until he was nominated first vice president and he was too honored to decline, Kane said.
“My dad was actually a past president and my granddad was actually very involved as well,” Kane said. “It’s just something that we’ve always felt was very important to be a part of just because it advocates for us. Rather than sitting back and letting somebody else do things for me, I participate.”
As the local rancher preps for his duties, his role has just begun. His first plan of action is to tackle membership numbers.
“I feel that there’s too many people that actually benefit for free,” Kane said. “The stock growers have a really outstanding reputation at the Legislature for giving sound advice about ag-related issues. That’s the thing about the stock growers, we don’t just advocate for their members, we advocate for the livestock industry.”
Scott Sims, president of WSGA, has known Kane and his family for decades as they’ve been active members in the organization.
“I’m really excited to be working with David, he has such a good understanding of the ranching business and they attend almost all of the conventions and meetings and he’s always involved,” Sims said.
Kane weighed his options before committing fully to the leadership role. The position is strictly volunteer and will pull the rancher away from his office of green grasses and four-legged coworkers and place him into a legislative setting. His passion for advocacy and the ways of the West swung his decision and he’s never looking back.
“Hopefully I can give Sheridan County a little more exposure as to what the stock growers is about. If somebody local is having issues, member or not, I’m only a phone call away,” Kane said.
Kane said he’s nervous about stepping away from his operation to try to improve others’ through the WSGA but he’s eager to provide a helping hand.
To get into contact with the WSGA or David Kane on any matters, see wsga.org for more information.