NIOBRARA COUNTY – Niobrara County rancher Chelsea Baars, 24, was elected to her second term as State Chair of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer and Rancher committee, according to a WyFB press release.
“Being state chair means being entrusted with the privilege to serve others by working together to brainstorm, solve problems and help discover each other’s hidden talents,” Baars said in the Nov. 24 press release.
The position holds a seat on the WyFB board of directors.
The Young Farmer and Rancher agriculture program serves men and women ages 18-35. According to WyFB’s website, young professionals have a number of opportunities through the program, including gaining the ability to share common ground with other young farmers and ranchers, personal development, educational information, participation in competitive events and leadership positions, involvement with agriculture programs and community leaders, networking opportunities and legislative involvement.
Baars said her leadership role has allowed her even more so to “grow as a person and make some amazing friends.”
“I tell people you get out of Farm Bureau what you put into it. As a leader, I’ve found that I’ve reaped so much more than I ever anticipated,” she said. “If you’re ever given the chance to take on a leadership role, I encourage you to do it. While it takes some extra effort, the benefits are worth the time.”
Baars is the first second generation WyFB Young Farmer and Rancher committee member in the program’s 18 year history, according to the release. Her parents, Kevin and Denise Baars were founding members of the program in 2002.
Chelsea Baars said in an interview with The Lusk Herald she remembers sitting in the back of the room as a young child when her parents attended these meetings.
“I learned a lot from sitting in the back of the room playing,” she said. “That was something I wanted to do, too. For personal development and also being, I call it an ag-vocate, for agriculture.”
Kevin Baars, former chair of the committee, said it’s “neat” to have a second generation chair in the family.
“Our family’s been involved in Farm Bureau for generations,” Kevin Baars said. “We’re proud that Chelsea has chosen to continue that tradition and are glad that she’s taking an active role in this vital ag organization.”
According to Chelsea Baars, there are two other Young Farmers and Ranchers members from Niobrara County. It’s difficult to find new members, she said, due to the county’s older demographic and rural area.
Chelsea Baars said being from the least populated county in the state allows her to bring a voice to small rural counties, including Niobrara.
“There are a lot of bigger counties, and I can say, ‘in our county, this is how we reach people,’” she said. “It brings a different perspective to the table.”
Chelsea works on the Baars family ranch, which has operated since 1911.