GOSHEN COUNTY – With all respect given to Willie and Waylon who sang the Ed and Patsy Bruce song, “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” the 4-H team of Wyoming brainstormers are advocating that kids grow up to be cowboys.
“There was a small group of 4-H educators from around the state,” Megan Brittingham, a ten-year veteran as Goshen County 4-H Youth Development Educator said. “We wanted to put together a new logo that kind of corresponded with the new UW logo that would promote future Cowboys, because the world needs more cowboys.”
Brittingham was a part of a team that won a State Communicator Award for “Promotional Piece by a Team.”
The team of Brittingham, Sara Fleenor, Crook; Tanya Engel, Office of Communication and Technology; Johnathan Despain, state office; Mary Louise Wood, Albany; Kristi Nagy, Laramie; Emily Swinyer; Shar Perry, Lincoln and Stacy Buchholz, Platte were the ones that put forth the new branding effort.
The team was able to coordinate and adapt the inclusion of the UW logo and the 4-H clover icon. Then they came up with a slogan over the brand that reads, ‘Growing Wyoming’s Future Cowboys.’ The group then printed it on T-shirts, sweaters and sweatshirts and began to market the brand everywhere they wore the new apparel. The unique thing about this group being from all over the state was they never actually met face to face as a group.
“It was a lot of emailing,” she said with a laugh. “We never met. It was all over email.”
The focus, after developing the logo, was to educate Wyoming about the new look.
“We want to identify what we’ve already done,” Brittingham said. “People often are not familiar with 4-H, and they don’t associate us with the UW extension or to the University at all. They think we are just this independent county thing, which kind of we are, but not really. We have that three-way partnership. So we wanted to make sure that everyone was reminded that your first class at UW really is 4-H.”
Every county in Wyoming has its own 4-H development educator and every educator oversees each 4-H Club in that respective county. Currently Brittingham oversees 12 clubs in Goshen County.
Brittingham grew up a second-generation development educator. Growing up in SW Ohio in the Dayton area, she learned many years of valuable experience through on-the-job training under her mother’s tutelage. Although she went to school and graduated with a BA in theater arts and English, the education also lent itself well to her present position.
“One of my most favorite compliments I’ve gotten in my job here in Goshen County was our livestock judging coach,” she said. “He was preparing kids for the big national livestock judging contest in Louisville. We were driving home from the state contest and he said, ‘I’m really going to need you for this.’
She questioned at the time where her fit was and he explained to her that her theatrics were going to teach their kids to do public speaking, which was what she did and earned high praises from her mentors.
“Whenever I get the chance to be invited to talk to kids about that, I get a kick out of it,” Brittingham said. “That is one of the things that is in my wheelhouse.”