Wednesday, 05 July 2017 08:00

Badlands ambassador looks forward to summer adventures

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Hanna’s Jesse Williams is looking forward to an exciting summer exploring all of the history and hidden gems her area has to offer as one of 17 ambassadors for the Canadian Badlands Tourism association.


Williams is prolific on social media with her own Instagram account (@MarriedwithCows) and Twitter handle (@WhiskeyCreek_AB) as well as website and blog (http://www. whiskeycreek ranches.com), so expanding her conversations online regarding all that is great about the area in which she lives is an easy addition.
Williams ranches south of Hanna with her husband Clayton. Four years ago the pair, who both come from rural backgrounds, decided to start from scratch building their own ranching legacy. Jesse was raised in Brooks and Clayton in the Hanna area, so staying close to family was an easy decision.
“After we graduated from university we bought some land,” says Williams.
They have since built up the operation to about 100-head of red cross cattle and have a little bit of hay land to harvest. Both manage to weave ranch responsibilities around holding full-time employment.
Williams is the agricultural fieldman for Special Areas No. 2 while her husband as an engineer with oilfield experience, operates his own water well drilling company.
Ranching full-time is a dream both continue to pursue.
When Williams saw the opportunity to become a social media ambassador for the Badlands she jumped at the opportunity.
It means she will be able to explore the Special Areas even more so than she already has thanks to her day job and be able to boast about all of the wonderful experiences that are available to be enjoyed by both visitors and residents alike.
“The Special Areas and the Badlands are so unique,” she says. “The Special Areas No. 2 has been having such a hard time with the economy and the coal phase out, potentially. We need to attract people to our corner of the world and show what is great about this area. I want to show people this cool corner of the world that I think a lot of people don’t know about.”
Williams has always known how important a role social media can play in a business.
She says with so many ranchers in her area raising such good quality cattle, they needed a way to set themselves apart. She found that way online with her Married With Cows blog where she shares with the world the ups and downs of cattle ranching and the rural way of life.
“I don’t know if it’s working, but it sure is fun,” she says with a laugh about whether the ranch has gained a lot more exposure from the web presence than it would have otherwise.
As a tourism ambassador, Williams wants to not only promote the interesting activities and events in Special Areas, but also weave in the ranching way of life so people can have the opportunity to learn more about agriculture also.
She hopes to tour a Hutterite colony in her area, as an example of combining that agricultural aspect with a unique rural component.
Her list of other potential activities that she may try to take part in this summer is long and growing every day. She recently attended the Handhills Stampede, known as the longest outdoor stampede next to the Calgary Stampede, and found that to be a positive and fun experience to share with others.
“I’m a history buff as well so I am looking at going to some of those lesser-known museums and historical attractions,” adds Williams. “There is a ton of history in Special Areas such as the old printing museum, a coal mine and a traditional log house.”
Williams hopes to fill her summer with activities and events and post those experiences on a semi-regular basis every couple of weeks.
“I am very honoured and excited to be part of this project,” she adds.
Anyone interested in following her travels can do so online on Instagram (@MarriedwithCows) and Twitter (@WhiskeyCreek_AB), as well as the blog on the website: http://www. whiskeycreekranches.com.
Individuals wanting to see what all of the Canadian Badlands Tourism ambassadors are up to in the coming summer months can look for the following hashtags on Twitter: #CBTAmbassador #MyBadlands #SpecialAreas #VisitNewell #VisitLethbridge #YQL #Lethbridge.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor

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