Cowboys, cattle, and Facebook by Lauren Chase

Cowboys, cattle, and Facebook. This combination doesn’t seem like it fits. However, as social media sites collect more followers, advocating for agriculture has become essential, in order to reach millions of people with the cowboys’ message.

Lauren Chase, left, interviews a rancher about his work.

It is too often that Americans don’t understand the cowboy way of life.

Not only that, they can’t begin to explain where their food comes from and how it’s produced. The disconnect from the land has driven individuals to believe that cowboys don’t exist in real life, just in old Western films.

This is where I step in.

I am a recent University of Iowa graduate with a degree in both Journalism and Anthropology. During the summer of 2010, I interned at the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) in Helena, Mont. Coming from a non-agricultural background, I arrived in Big Sky Country with no horse, no cowboy boots, no hat, and no understanding of ranching.

My internship was to travel to ranches throughout the state, interview ranchers, and take photos and videos for use on MSGA’s social media websites. What I thought would be an interesting way to combine journalism and anthropology skills turned into a lifetime passion for advocating for the beef industry and ranch culture.


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