ANN SIMPSON

Wyoming steward, mental health advocate, and champion for the arts

A celebrated Wyoming icon, Ann Simpson has journeyed from her family’s farm in Greybull, Wyoming to Washington D.C. with her husband, former United States Senator Alan Simpson.

A celebrated Wyoming icon, Ann Simpson has journeyed from her family’s farm in Greybull, Wyoming to Washington D.C. with her husband, former United States Senator Alan Simpson.

 
I think the feeling of self-worth is very important for all of us. That’s what holds us back, when you don’t have self worth.
— Ann Simpson
 
 
 

Listen to Ann’s story.

 

Ann Simpson grew up on a small farm in Greybull, Wyoming and eventually journeyed to Washington D.C. with her husband, former United States Senator Alan Simpson. In 1953, she lived in Germany as part of Al’s Army career, which proved to be an eye-opening experience and led her to start the first American Field Service study abroad program in Cody, Wyoming. The inspiration to facilitate the program was to expose children to other cultures by making it possible for Cody students to travel abroad, while bringing students from around the world to Wyoming.

Ann was first exposed to politics when Al’s father, Milward Simpson, campaigned for Wyoming governor. She realized that by extending yourself to people, they respond. This realization has been a guiding force throughout her life and continued when Al was elected to the Wyoming State Legislature and later to the U.S. Senate.

A mental health advocate and champion for the arts, Ann was passionately involved in the Congressional Wives Mental Health Group founded by Nancy Domenici of New Mexico and the Lab School of Washington for Children with Dyslexia and spurred the creation of the University of Wyoming’s most successful art outreach effort: the Ann Simpson Artmobile. Named in her honor, the Artmobile has traveled the state for more than 30 years showcasing pieces from the University of Wyoming Art Museum’s collection, exposing Wyoming communities to the arts, and engaging students with hands-on activities.

 
Ann Simpson, at home in Cody, Wyoming

Ann Simpson, at home in Cody, Wyoming

 
 
Al’s father was campaigning for Governor, and that was a fabulous experience because I learned that if you extend yourself to people, people respond. Everyone’s waiting for someone to make the first step
— Ann Simpson
 
 
An avid reader and champion of the arts, Ann initiated the University of Wyoming’s largest art outreach effort. Named in her honor, the “Ann Simpson Artmobile” travels to communities all around Wyoming to expose youth to art and culture.

An avid reader and champion of the arts, Ann initiated the University of Wyoming’s largest art outreach effort. Named in her honor, the “Ann Simpson Artmobile” travels to communities all around Wyoming to expose youth to art and culture.

 
 
Life is to make the most of what you have done, and let go of regret. I think the goal is to gain wisdom about ourselves and life. We are just constantly evolving with the goal to be a richer person, and that’s the important thing—for our children to be taught that.
— Ann Simpson
 
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JESSIE ALLEN

Manager of Allen's Diamond 4 Ranch, yoga instructor, hunting guide, NOLS instructor, and former Miss Wyoming

Jessie Allen is the full-time manager of her family’s guest ranch, the Allen’s Diamond 4. She leads a variety of people into the wilderness, from week-long women's wilderness yoga retreats to family fly fishing, hiking and pack trips, to guiding archery and rifle hunters in the fall. During her off-seasons, she leads students into the wilderness for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).

Jessie Allen is the full-time manager of her family’s guest ranch, the Allen’s Diamond 4. She leads a variety of people into the wilderness, from week-long women's wilderness yoga retreats to family fly fishing, hiking and pack trips, to guiding archery and rifle hunters in the fall. During her off-seasons, she leads students into the wilderness for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).

 
I really appreciate that being in the mountains your focus is fully present. You are in the here and now, and yes, your mind can wander and start daydreaming when you’re spending hours of the day riding by yourself, but it really brings the attention back to the present. It’s where I feel most connected and alive.
— Jessie Allen
 
Jessie Allen at Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch, Wyoming’s highest elevation guest ranch at 9,200 feet.

Jessie Allen at Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch, Wyoming’s highest elevation guest ranch at 9,200 feet.

 
 

Listen to Jessie’s story.

 

Jessie Allen is a sixth-generation Wyoming outdoorswoman whose mission is to create connection and community in the mountains. Living off the grid for half the year at 9,200 feet, Jessie manages Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch, located in the heart of the Wind River Mountains and Wyoming’s highest elevation guest ranch. A multifaceted Wyoming woman, Jessie served as a state officer for Future Farmers of America (FFA) while she was attending the University of Wyoming, which sparked inspiration to compete for (and win) the title of Miss Wyoming in 2014. Now the full-time manager of her family’s guest ranch, Jessie leads a variety of folks into the wilderness for horseback adventures. Each summer, she guides week-long women's wilderness yoga retreats. She also brings families and groups into the mountains to ride, fly fish, and hike. In the fall, she guides archery and rifle hunters.

During her off-seasons, she leads students into the wilderness for National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). She’s an avid adventurer and lives life with curiosity and an explorer’s mindset. Jessie pursued her yoga teacher training in Thailand, worked as a handler for the Yukon Quest (a thousand-mile dog sled race in Alaska), and spent four months traveling solo in New Zealand, working on dairy farms, horse-trekking operations, and sheep stations.

As a guide, teacher, and leader, Jessie creates transformational opportunities in the mountains where her clients learn to bridge gaps, find common ground, and overall, build a broader human connection.

 
Jessie spends half the year living off the grid and running her family’s guest ranch, The Allen’s Diamond 4, Wyoming’s highest elevation guest ranch located at 9,200 feet in the Wind River Mountains.

Jessie spends half the year living off the grid and running her family’s guest ranch, The Allen’s Diamond 4, Wyoming’s highest elevation guest ranch located at 9,200 feet in the Wind River Mountains.

 
 
There is so much opportunity in being an anomaly. It’s a powerful tool to not only break stereotypes and shift people’s perspectives but to connect with people in a variety of ways. My goal is to diversify myself as much as possible because that allows opportunity to bridge the gaps, find common ground and build a broader connection.
— Jessie Allen
 
A yoga instructor, one of Jessie’s offering’s at Allen’s Diamond 4 is a week-long women's wilderness yoga retreat.

A yoga instructor, one of Jessie’s offering’s at Allen’s Diamond 4 is a week-long women's wilderness yoga retreat.

In the fall, Jessie guides archery and rifle hunters.

In the fall, Jessie guides archery and rifle hunters.

 
We sometimes need to remind ourselves to lift our gaze up and look for opportunities to try something new. By leaning into those uncomfortable moments, before you know it, the realm of what is comfortable is a lot bigger because you’re actively going towards those opportunities that could be of great learning and growth.
— Jessie Allen
 
 

Scenes from Allen’s Diamond 4, Wyoming’s highest elevation guest ranch at 9,200’.

 
 
I see so much opportunity as a young woman entrepreneur in Wyoming to bring forth my passions, skillsets, and provide opportunities for others to have really powerful experiences in the mountains. How can I best serve those around me and the community at a broader scale? The more I’m here, the more I realize that this is where I need to be, this is what I love, and what I can share with the world.
— Jessie Allen
 
Jessie Allen— Wyoming outdoorswoman, manager of Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch, yogi, hunting guide and NOLS Instructor— packing out for a day in the Wind River Mountains.

Jessie Allen— Wyoming outdoorswoman, manager of Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch, yogi, hunting guide and NOLS Instructor— packing out for a day in the Wind River Mountains.