Customer
Ownership

As a financial cooperative, our
customer-owners have a voice
in what we do. Explore profiles
of farmers and ranchers who
make up the Association.

Lou & Shelby

Sheep & Cattle Ranchers
Rock Springs, WY
Customer since 1997

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Why I chose agriculture

I believe that agriculture provides a truly honest living: you take what the land gives you and produce the best food and fiber you can. There is a truth about agriculture that I really appreciate.

How I prepared for a career in agriculture

My base layer of knowledge came from working with my dad and grandfather here on the ranch. I showed some talent and interest, and they helped me begin studies in agricultural science and technology at University of Idaho. I also spent a semester abroad in a sheep specialization program in Christchurch, New Zealand, and I worked at a sheep feedlot in Colorado while I was getting my pilot’s license. I was glad to come back to the ranch.

The future of our operation

Our operation now stretches across 187 miles, and our sheep and cattle graze on a lot of government allotments. But to maintain a family operation structure over the long term, deeded land is the only way to go. We love the wide-open spaces, and we take a holistic approach to our operation, matching the animals to the land so that we’re more symmetrical with the ecosystem.

What I do in my spare time

I love to fly. Even though 85 percent of my time in the air is for the ranch – checking for water, looking for camps, tracking the sheep, keeping an eye out for predators –flying a plane is my primary passion outside of the work.

What I love about ranching

I never do the same thing twice in a row, ever. We’re constantly dealing with new challenges, with government officials, with other entities with which we are involved. We love the outdoors, the mountains, riding and doing the things that other people might think of as chores.

Why I work with FCSAmerica

I took out my first loan with FCSAmerica in 1997 for land. I was chosen in 2006 to be a Young & Beginning farmer representative at a conference with a lot of other people who were in the same situation. I’ve had so many, many opportunities as a member of the cooperative to learn, to share what I’ve learned, and to grow our business. They’ve been with us all the way, all the time.

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FCSAmerica serves farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and rural residents in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. For inquiries outside this geography, use the Farm Credit Association Locator  to contact your local office.