14 Oct Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2004 Scholar Caitlyn Taussig
Boettcher Scholar Year: 2004
Hometown: Kremmling, CO
College/Degree: University of Colorado, B.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation?
I am currently working on and managing my family’s cattle ranch alongside my mom. I’ve been ranching for the past nine years and have also been working as a professional singer/songwriter for six years. My favorite thing about ranching is living outdoors alongside my animals while seeing wildlife and beautiful places every day. Growing food is a truly rewarding way of life! Singing has been enriching as well – it’s been a wonderful way to travel and meet interesting people from all over the country.
What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now?
Being a Boettcher Scholar has given me the financial freedom to pursue a life that is less than conventional while introducing me to extraordinary people who inspire me and support me, even from afar. I’m proud to be working in-state in one of Colorado’s heritage ways of life.
Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work.
While I’m not directly or heavily involved in any organizations, I enjoy volunteering as a judge for local 4-H interviews and exhibit days and donating concerts for our veteran’s organization and for a foundation that helps local struggling ranch and cowboy families. I’m currently applying for the HERD Fellowship to attend the Quivera Coalition Regenerate Conference to learn more about sustainable and regenerative agriculture and how I can apply new principles to our ranch.
What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for current graduates entering your career field?
If you are interested in either ranching or music, I recommend seeking out mentors and working hard to learn everything you can from them. Don’t be scared to cold-call someone you’ve read about, and look into organizations such as the Quivera Coalition that support young people interested in holistic methods of agricultural production and land stewardship.
If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why?
I would love to share a meal with Joan Baez and Maya Angelou and talk about women in art and standing up for what they believe in.
In January, Caitlyn was featured in the cover photo of an article in The New York Times titled “Female Ranchers Are Reclaiming the American West.” Learn more about the article and Caitlyn’s work on her family’s ranch, here.
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