The Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) and Encana Oil and Gas (USA) Inc., are working together to support Community Dialogues for Rural Wyoming, a program dedicated to providing information and education about life in small Wyoming communities with high energy and agriculture involvement.

The program, conducted by WSGA, was established to tell the stories of farmers, ranchers and others in Wyoming’s rural communities.

A $20,000 grant awarded by Encana will enable the program to host public events, offer social media training, provide advertising to drive traffic to the website and purchase equipment to aid in the development of video content. The program targets rural community members, local leaders and family ag producers with the aim of providing a line of communication between rural communities and the non-agriculture public.

“People who live and work in Wyoming’s rural communities have a story to tell, and an interested audience that wants to hear from them,” says Kosha Olsen, WSGA program director. “Content for the website and social media outlets is provided by rural community members, a number of whom are younger ranchers who have expressed interest in becoming more involved as community leaders.”

"Agriculture is such an important part of Wyoming that it’s critical we in the oil and gas industry promote open discussions with landowners and others in agriculture,” adds Randy Teeuwen, Encana community relations advisor. “Social media and transparent discussions will help others understand the importance of rural life to the heritage of Wyoming and allow us to work together.”

Encana previously awarded grant funding to support the initial phases of the program. The upcoming phase will provide more and new content, including a series on how the energy industry collaborates with agriculture and the opportunities it creates in rural communities.