MICKEY THOMAN

Cowgirl, mentor and ranching matriarch of the Thoman Ranch in Sweetwater County, Wyoming

Mickey Thoman is a cowgirl, mentor and genuine leader. At 89 years old, she operates the W&M Thoman ranch with her three daughters. Together, the Thoman women run a sheep and cattle operation, as well as raise thoroughbred-quarter horses in Sweetwater County, Wyoming.

Mickey Thoman is a cowgirl, mentor and genuine leader. At 89 years old, she operates the W&M Thoman ranch with her three daughters. Together, the Thoman women run a sheep and cattle operation, as well as raise thoroughbred-quarter horses in Sweetwater County, Wyoming.

 
You’re kind of in control of your life to a point, but what’s gotta be done, you do it.
— Mickey Thoman
 
Mickey Thoman working her animals on the Thoman homestead in Sweetwater County, Wyoming.

Mickey Thoman working her animals on the Thoman homestead in Sweetwater County, Wyoming.

 
 

Listen to Mickey’s story.

 

A cowgirl, mentor and genuine leader, Mickey Thoman epitomizes the true grit that defines the spirit of the American West. A living legend and ranch matriarch, Mickey and her three daughters operate the W&M Thoman Ranch, a family ranching business in Sweetwater County, Wyoming. The Thoman women raise fine-wool Rambouillet sheep, a uniform herd of Hereford cattle, and spirited Thoroughbred-Quarter horses. Throughout personal and business hardships, Mickey and her family have remained relevant in the ever changing and ever challenging world of agriculture with a spirit of tenacity and togetherness. Over the years, Mickey has lost her husband and ranching partner, Bill Thoman, as well as two of her seven children. When asked if she would give up her operation after her husband passed, she said, “Why would I sell it? This has been my whole life. I’m still here, and I’m still enjoying it. I think that’s what he would have wanted.“

Mickey is one of the 33 founding members of the Green River Valley Cowbelles. She has also been a member of the Wyoming Stockgrower’s Association Board of Directors and Guardians of the Grasslands. She’s been an integral part of 4-H and a continuous 4-H key leader for half a century, with nearly 60 years of service and dedicated leader awards. Mickey was inducted into the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2018.

I learned about Mickey’s deep love for her family, animals and the land she’s called home her entire life when I joined Mickey and her family at their sheep camp at the base of the Wind River Mountains and on their homestead by the Green River in the fall of 2018.

 
Cowgirl, mentor and matriarch of the Thoman ranch in Sweetwater county, Mickey Thoman epitomizes true western grit and spirit.

Cowgirl, mentor and matriarch of the Thoman ranch in Sweetwater county, Mickey Thoman epitomizes true western grit and spirit.

At 89 years old, Mickey Thoman finds her greatest joy when she’s working alongside her family, with her animals and on the land she’s called home her entire life.

At 89 years old, Mickey Thoman finds her greatest joy when she’s working alongside her family, with her animals and on the land she’s called home her entire life.

 
 
My favorite time of year on the land is probably spring, when everything starts to turn green. And, the rest of the year is my favorite time, too.
— Mickey Thoman
 
 

Scenes from sheep camp at the base of the Wind River mountains with the Thoman family.

 
 
I don’t think about being a boss. I just think about working together with my family. I just enjoy that they’re still here.
— Mickey Thoman
 
Three generations of Thoman women. L>R: Mickey Thoman with her daughter Kristy Wardell, granddaughter Taylor, and daughters Mary and Laurie Thoman.

Three generations of Thoman women. L>R: Mickey Thoman with her daughter Kristy Wardell, granddaughter Taylor, and daughters Mary and Laurie Thoman.