Youth In Ag – Meet Shaye Koester

Shaye Koester recently graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in Animal Science. She is also the founder of Casual Cattle Conversations and would like to develop that business into a full-time position that allows her to remain involved with her family’s ranching operation.

Q. What is your background?                                                                                                                               I’ve been involved with ranching for my entire 22 years. I was raised on my family’s ranch near Steele, ND and I am the fifth generation in my family that ranches. We raise registered Red Angus cattle, calving in the fall and selling bulls at 18-months of age in our annual production sale each March. I also raise commercial Red Angus and Angus cattle with my grandfather. We do a little farming too, but cattle are our main priority.

Q. Can you describe CCC and what motivated you to spearhead those activities?
Casual Cattle Conversations started as a podcast in August of 2019, and has grown into a global rancher education company. It includes weekly podcasts, blogs and newsletters in addition to monthly roundtable Zoom discussions called RancherMinds, that allow ranchers to connect and collaborate with one another to find solutions to the challenges they face on the ranch. I decided to start CCC because I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and start my own business. I settled on this idea because I am passionate about ranching, learning and communications. Starting a podcast was the perfect place to start developing this business.

Q. What did you enjoy most about CCC and your other activities?
I enjoy giving ranchers and beef industry leaders a place to share their voice and connect with other peers or potential clients. I believe we can learn something from everyone and creating a place where people can share has been rewarding and fulfilling.

I am a previous officer for the Nebraska Block and Bridle chapter and serve as an education advisor for the North Dakota Jr. Red Angus Association. I chose to be involved in organizations like this because the world is run by those who show up. We need action takers and leaders to create opportunities in the industry. Also, I like helping others by creating events and opportunities for them to network and grow. It’s fulfilling to see others grow and thrive in the areas they are passionate about and know that you have helped them in this journey.

Q. Who helped you succeed in your Ag-related activities?
I can’t say thank you enough to the people in Ag who have helped me get this far. It starts with support from my parents and family and early 4-h and FFA community leaders. Most recently, the staff of the Engler Entrepreneur-ship Program, my Animal Science Ambassador Advisors, Block and Bridle Advisors and co-advisors for NDJRAA have had the greatest impact on my last 4 years. Yet, I know I probably forgot some names and titles along the way.

Q. What else would you like to say?
First of all, don’t let anyone defer you from chasing your dreams. They are your dreams, and it is your life. Go get them! Secondly, please connect with me on social media by following @cattle-convos. I’d love to connect with you and hear your story.