Skip to Main Navigation. Each navigation link will open a list of sub navigation links.

Skip to Main Content

Apply to the University of Wyoming apply now

Global Resource Navigation

Visit Campus
Download UW Viewbook
Give to UW
Menu
Contact Us

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

University of Wyoming

Department #3354

1000 E. University

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-4133

Fax: (307) 766-4030

Email: agrdean@uwyo.edu

Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window) Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window) Find us on YouTube (Link opens a new window)

Outstanding Alumni - 2018

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Jody Levin

You can take the girl off the ranch but not the ranch out of the girl

Jody Levin
Levin received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the college

Jody Levin walked out the college’s doors in 1997 as a graduate student and always maintained agricultural connections.
This Outstanding Alumni Award recipient is an unapologetic supporter of agriculture, with her roots running deep into Wyoming, having grown up on a Boulder-area ranch, and receiving her undergraduate and graduates degrees from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

“I believe strongly in the rural way of life and being connected with the land,” says Levin. “It’s always been very important for me to maintain a relationship with the ag industry.”

And, “I owe everything to the College of Agriculture.”

Levin launched Levin Strategic Resources, LLC, in 2009, specializing in government and public affairs representation. Services include lobbying and advocacy, community outreach, public relations, and issue management. Most of her clients now focus on infrastructure, such as pipelines, transmission lines, broadband, and railroads, among others.


Builds Experience in D.C.

Her work prior to starting her business provided experience in the vast public policy and political landscapes in Washington, D.C., in business, and in Wyoming.

She had entered college as an agricultural education major but switched to ag communications. Her agricultural economics experience (she credits Professor Emeritus Dale Menkhaus for his invaluable guidance and assistance) helped her understand markets, consumer preferences, and how they drive choices.

She had been immersed in FFA and honing public speaking skills and says the two degrees were a winning combination for her.

Levin worked as a student in the dean’s office when she commented to then-Dean Steve Horn she wanted to go to D.C. to work on policy matters. When Republican Senator Craig Thomas called asking if Horn had any students he would recommend, Levin was off to Washington.

“And take off she did,” writes Menkhaus.

Levin would receive her master’s degree in December and that February start as a legislative aide, then become legislative assistant, and then legislative director 2001-2002.

She gained experience coordinating natural resource and agricultural policy at the state and national levels.

“In the early ’90s, the political climate was very different than now,” she says. “When I went to D.C., there was tremendous cooperation between Republicans and Democrats, especially on regional issues and those related to agriculture.”

She returned to Wyoming and served as the state’s inaugural endangered species coordinator for Governor Jim Geringer. She then represented Qwest Communications as Wyoming director of public policy, then started Levin Strategic Resources.


Working Toward Yes

She has emulated Thomas’ process to reach consensus among differing views.

“He reached across the aisle and worked with Democrats and all constituencies,” she says. “He was never a draw-a-line-in-the-sand person. He always worked to find a compromise.”

She says he believed doing so was the path toward yes, and she uses that with her clients.
Associate Professor Ben Rashford outlined Levin’s successes in his nomination letter, from her accomplishments helping ensure authorization of the 2000 Water Resources Development Act to the 2002 Farm Bill and as the first state of Wyoming endangered species coordinator.

Those aren’t her most important successes, he says.

“Her most noteworthy achievement is more general, and noted by Jim Magagna, the credibility and respect she has brought to the lobbying profession in Wyoming,” says Rashford, head of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

“She has been a staunch advocate for issues affecting Wyoming citizens, and her grassroots advocacy and community outreach have made her a trusted liaison between the people and government,” he says.

Levin was selected to serve on the board of the Wyoming Capitol Club, the home for lobbyists during legislative sessions and just finished her term as president.

Magagna, executive vice president of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, has worked alongside her for over 10 years.

“I have been able to observe the manner in which she brings credibility and respect to the profession of lobbying by being professional, dedicated, and a source of information to legislators,” says Magagna.

Levin grew up with some of the legislators and went to school with others. She might even run into them at a local grocery store.

“If I were to lead a legislator down the wrong path, that would not only hurt my reputation but my clients,” she says.

Legislators don’t have the staff to be experts in all subjects that arise in a short time frame during a session. They figure out which lobbyists to trust.

“What I end up doing is giving them resources on issues I’m not even working on, or they come to me for information and advice,” she says. “That’s the ultimate compliment.”


Contact Us

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

University of Wyoming

Department #3354

1000 E. University

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-4133

Fax: (307) 766-4030

Email: agrdean@uwyo.edu

Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window) Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window) Find us on YouTube (Link opens a new window)

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Twitter Icon Youtube Icon Instagram Icon Facebook Icon

Accreditation | Virtual Tour | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Gainful Employment | Privacy Policy | Harassment & Discrimination | Accessibility Accessibility information icon