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Shine On~ Women In Ag
Skye Clark

Shine On~ Women in Agriculture~ Skye Clark

Shine On~ Women in Agriculture 

Shine On, Shine On was the subject of a blog post that I did a while back.

Here is the link to my first Shine On, Shine On post!  I have decided that there are a lot of people that help me “Shine” and I am going to feature them on my Shine On, Shine On series.

This year I decided to start a new spin on my Shine On series and add a little more of agricultural spin. I am excited to be bringing you these interviews. My goal is to share these fine ladies stories with you all. Please help me welcome my first Shine On Lady, Skye Clark.

From historic homesteaders to contemporary cattle ranchers, women have been the cornerstone of America’s agriculture heritage. In fact, the 2012 Census of Agriculture notes that nearly 1 million women are working America’s lands. That is nearly a third of our nation’s farmers.  Women are also scientists, economists, foresters, veterinarians, and conservationists. Women are in the boardrooms and the corner offices of international enterprises, and are the owners and operators of small businesses. Women are property owners and managers. Women are policymakers and standard bearers. Women are involved in every aspect of agriculture.

Shine On~Women In Agriculture features: Skye Clark

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your career path.
I was born and raised on a small ranch in Smoot, Wyoming.  My folks were also outfitters, so we grew up hunting as well. I also became interested in health and fitness when I was in high school.  I now run cattle of my own along side of my online fitness/fat loss business.  I also am a hobby photographer. 
Tell us about your role and what does your “typical day” looks like.
It really depends on the season of course, but I do everything from feeding, calving, doctoring, fencing, haying, irrigating, starting colts, packing salt and herding cattle on our mountain allotment. 
 Right now (January) I go feed every morning at daylight.  I hand pitch round bales.  Then I come home, work on my client emails nutrition program, etc.  About noon or so I go back out and work with my colts.  I have 5 I’m starting right now.  Then I catch the team, harness them and feed our replacement heifers again and feed straw to the cows that evening. 
 
Spring brings all of that, plus calving all night.  Then when the snow leaves I’m fencing and dragging pastures, branding and getting cattle out on the forest.
 
Summer I am horseback by 5 to 5:30 every morning and ride cattle, pack salt, doctor etc. on the forest.  I am also the association rider, so I take care of the other permitees cattle as well.  Then when I get home in the late afternoon, I go irrigate or cut. rake. bale or haul hay.
 
Fall brings finishing haying up,  gathering cattle off forest, shipping, weaning, pregging, etc.
Who has been (who is) your biggest influencer mentor? What have (did) you learn from them?
Geez.  Anyone and everyone!  I learn a lot from many of the old timers, and love listening to their stories and advise.  My little brothers, Gabe and Matt Clark teach me quite a bit about roping, starting horses and just handing cattle in general.  Mom and dad and just about anyone I’m around.  You can always learn something from someone; even if it’s what NOT to do 😉  There are so many good hands out there, in all areas, and I try to watch and listen to what they say and do and learn something everyday.
How do you define personal success? How do you get there?
To me, success is being completely happy and content in life.  To get there, I thing you need to LOVE the work you do.  Even on the bad days.  You need to live within your means so you don’t become a slave to debt.  When you love what you do, have no debt, you can fully enjoy life.  You don’t have to work at a job you hate to pay off accumulated debt on materialistic things.  So I guess I should add freedom to go, come and do as your please.  I’m so fortunate to have that. 
How do you think women’s role(s) in farming/ranching/agriculture has changed over the last decade?
I haven’t been in everyone’s shoes, but I think women are more involved in the physical side of ranching/ag nowadays.  It’s tough to make enough money to hire help, especially for smaller outfits, so I see more women out haying, riding, etc.  They also help pick up the slack by having a “town job” or another source of income to help keep things afloat.  They are also more independent and involved in conservation, putting on events, attending seminars and meetings, etc.  They keep everything organized and running smoothly.  They have more of a VOICE and INFLUENCE now more than ever in my opinion.
Learning from our mistakes is an important part of life, but sometimes rough, part of life. Would you mind helping others and share your mistake that you have made but taught you something important?  
For me, it’s listening to what others say about you and trying to do things that you don’t want to in order to please others.  I wasted too many years trying to please others only to find out that is the best way to be miserable.  You gotta be you and go after what you want in life! 
How would you define “women in agriculture?”
They keep the show running behind the scenes.  Couldn’t do it without them.
What in your opinion, is the most important topic in the agriculture world right now?
The losses of ground!  From the environmentalists trying to take away grazing and rangelands to the smaller farms and ranches being sold to put houses on.  They aren’t making any more ground.  It’s getting harder and harder to run livestock.  In our area, the wealthy are buying up prime meadows that were once the best hay ground around, kicking out the cattle, digging fishing ponds and putting up NO TRESSPASSING signs.  It’s so sad to watch and I wonder where folks think the food is going to come from in the future?
What is in your daily toolbox? Planner? Phone? Computer? Special item(s) Why do you carry it with you?
My phone.  I run an online fitness business, so having an iPhone allows me to work with clients basically from anywhere in the world without me having to be chained down to the computer.  It allows me to be outside and horseback 90% of every day and still get my ranch work done and keep up with my online business.
In closing, do you have any advice, quotes for young women, or anyone for that, starting their career in agriculture?
Make sure you love the lifestyle and aren’t doing it for money.
It’s a piss poor living but a great way of life!  You won’t get rich in finances, but your quality of life, the lessons and just the enjoyment of what you’re doing is priceless!!  I had a fitness client that was a multi-millionaire.  He had everything from several homes to a jet.  When I was coaching him, he began to ask what else I did.  So I invited him up to feed one day……and he decided ranching was the best thing ever!  He ended up spending more and more time around the place, riding a bit, helping vaccinate, etc.  He told me that he had never been happier in life than when he was out looking through the cattle, driving the team, etc.  Proof money can’t buy happiness.  You have to love what you do.  Love the work ethic and lessons it teaches your kids. 
Is there anything you would would like to add?
Life goes by so fast.  Listen to the old timers.  Enjoy every single day!  Live life to the fullest! 
 

Skye~Thank you for taking time out of your day to answer a few questions. I appreciate all you do.

Here are a few more reasons that you help me Shine On:

🌟You have a good attitude on everything you do. I appreciate your “GO TO IT ATTITUDE.”
🌟If you set your mind to something, it is going to get done.  I admire that. We all need to have that mind set. 
🌟Your a hard worker and it shows. 
🌟I love your western story. I love that you share it. Keep up the good work.
🌟Surround yourself with people who make you hungry for life, touch your heart, and nourish your soul. 

 
My message to you, dear friend is Shine On!!
Thank you for just being YOU!

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Skye Clark Photo Credit Sheryl Morton

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