Kristen always knew that she would eventually find her way into agriculture. Growing up Kristen could always be found on the back of a horse. She rodeoed and spent many days at a local horse ranch. One particular day a buckskin colt showed up on the ranch and ended up getting away from one of the other girls. Kristen jumped in and led the hot-headed horse back to the pen.
The three-year-old horse was from South Dakota, with fresh wounds on her chest. Kristen desperately wanted to call the buckskin her own. So when the ranch owner cut a great deal on the horse, her mom couldn’t turn it down. Kristen was 11 years old at this time and the buckskin quickly became Kristen’s whole world. Despite a few wrecks with the buckskin, Kristen officially had the bug and deep down she knew that one day she would find her way back in the saddle.
After high school, Kristen played softball and earned her degree in Business Administration from Eckerd College. Fast forward to today and Kristen can be found in big sky country. She recently accepted a position as the Advertising Account Manager and Livestock Digital Marketing Development Manager for Tri-State Livestock. Prior to this role Kristen worked as a ranch hand on a registered Angus operation and she still plans to help out whenever possible. Additionally, she uses her marketing and sales skills to help Bar 77 Montana Grassfed Beef. In this role, she takes photos, manages social media, attends farmers markets, and manages sales accounts.
BUT WAIT! There is MORE!
Kristen also works part time as a wrangler for a guest ranch and she also puts in time at the local stockyards when she has time or when they have larger sales. Whew! Kristen is a busy lady. But that doesn’t mean she still doesn’t have large goals. She is planning on growing her photography skills AND her roping skills. She also is going to spend time to break and finish her upcoming colt, Cuervo!
Because Kristen didn’t grow up on a ranch, I was very eager to hear her advice for a young person who wants to get involved in agriculture. Kristen says:
“Show up on time, LISTEN, be patient, and work your butt off. My first year in Montana I got paid to ride a horse, but I did not get paid to work cows at all. An old-time rancher invited me to my first branding, I borrowed his horse and rode through a little bronc ride. After that the neighbors knew I was serious and invited me to work cows frequently. I took in a lot from those ranches the first couple years, and even though most days I worked for free, it was amazing how much I learned just from watching and listening. In the world of Ranching and Agriculture being neighborly goes a long way, so once I got a good reputation at a few places, I had many great opportunities.
Oh, and last tip…never ride in front of the boss unless you are instructed to!”
Now that’s some GREAT advice! 🙂
I want to thank Kristen for taking the time to help me put this blog together! If you want to connect with Kristen and learn more about her story, you can find her HERE on Instagram.