Meet Arizona Agriculture’s Wendy Cavalliere

By Shayla Hyde, contributing writer for Arizona Farm Bureau: “Farming and ranching is becoming less a part of our culture,” says Arizona Farm Bureau member Wendy Cavalliere, someone who has made ranching a part of her life and as a result helping keep it a part of our culture at least in her part of the world.

Wendy Cavalliere is very involved in youth volunteer activities through both 4-H and Farm Bureau. Her approach is to help the next generation see the value of agriculture. 

The Cavalliere family has a cattle ranch and strives to keep agriculture alive in their community. Wendy Cavalliere is involved in many agricultural groups such as 4-H and her childrens’ rodeo club, and she keeps herself busy teaching younger generations about the importance of agriculture in everyday life. In addition to running the cattle operation, Cavalliere is a real-estate broker and the family owns a construction company. She works with her family in these endeavors including her son and daughter who intend to follow the same agriculture path. The Cavalliere family raises rodeo and beef cattle including corriente longhorn cattle which are a smaller breed of cattle meant for rodeo.

The Cavalliere family is fourth-generation ranchers. She has shared this passion for agriculture in her community and with her children and at the same time dealing with the hardships of ranching and learning many lessons from these experiences.

Cavalliere now passes this knowledge down to the younger generations of farmers and ranchers. She enjoys showing others how essential agriculture is to society, and what they can do to preserve that ideal.

Running a cattle ranch may not be the most posh lifestyle, but someone has to do it. The Cavalliere family does just that, and helps strengthen the agricultural community.

An interview with Wendy Cameron-Cavalliere – Yucca, Arizona

Part of an ongoing series about farming and ranching families in Arizona.

Tell us about your ranch. We raise corriente longhorn cross, rodeo and beef cattle.

What changes have you seen in your lifetime as it relates to farming and/or ranching? I have seen farming and ranching become regulated to the point where it’s almost impossible to make ends meet. I think it is becoming less a part of culture as well.

Why did you choose to go into agriculture? Well I married into it. Our family is fourth generation ranchers.

Will anyone in your family-younger generation-pursue farming and/or ranching? Yes, absolutely. My son will run the ranch and my daughter will run the books. My daughter is pursuing her degree in agriculture business.

Would you ever consider growing an emerging crop or changing your farm or ranch model? We might consider changing from beef cattle to something else. Ultimately, it has to pencil out and be profitable. It’s core to what motivates most family-run businesses.

What are your community activities? Why are you involved? We’re heavily involved in 4-H. I am involved in 4-H because it is good for kids to be involved in agriculture. I also do Ag in the Classroom because it is important for kids to know about agriculture and where their food comes from. I am a member of the Arizona Farm Bureau, and I am a part of my children’s Arizona Junior High School Rodeo Association. Plus, I am Women's Leadership Chair for Mohave County Farm Bureau. 

What is one fact/experience/achievement no one knows about you? I am a real estate broker and we own a construction company.

What do you think you do really well? Explain. I really enjoy working with children. I enjoy teaching them about agriculture and how important it is, and where their food comes from.

Why are you a farm bureau member? I am a member because I want to help keep the farming and ranching communities alive.

How will the next generation of farmers have to operate? I believe they will be under much more strict regulations, unfortunately; and I believe they will have to have other jobs to make ends meet and they will have to be more diverse. I believe they will have to be more politically involved because farming is becoming more about politics.

What’s the best business advice you’ve ever been given and/or experience? Or what business-oriented advice would you give young farmers/beginning farmers? The best advice I have been given is to limit yourself on credit and keep your purchases in cash as much as possible. 

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