Women of Wyoming: Jessie Allen
Starting your day before sunrise just to work until the dinner bell rings isn’t something many would find appealing. Especially when the day consists of heavy lifting and long hours on horseback, all while keeping a smile on your face. For Jessie Allen, Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch manager, yoga instructor and former Miss Wyoming, this is how she shares her passion for the Wyoming Wind River range and her family’s guest ranch.
As a child, Jessie spent most her time playing outside, building go-carts and rafts, working with her hands, and riding her horses down to the creek to swim with her sisters. With dirty hands and bruised knees, for her, every day was an adventure. As she got older, she starting taking on a lot more responsibly at the ranch and at age 26 has taken over the full-time position of ranch manager.
“This is my office, this is my playground and I see never ending opportunities to explore, to adventure and I have this all at my fingertips and it’s so exciting.”
Packing horses into the Wind River every day of the summer since she was 13 taught Jessie the skills she needed to earn the respect of her guests so that they felt confident in her hands in the mountains. She said “Whenever I felt underestimated, I always made sure to go the extra mile. To always be the first one out to feed in the morning and just always showing that I may not be as physically big and stout as these macho guys in their 20s, but that I was [still] capable.”
Her love of the outdoors and of horses led her to a position as an officer of the state Future Farmers of America chapter. During this opportunity, she spent time traveling, speaking at different schools across the state. This experience sparked inspiration for Jessie to compete and win the title of Miss Wyoming in 2014. Later traveling to Atlantic City, New Jersey to compete for the title of Miss America.
Summers spent growing up on the ranch put her a little out of her element on her journey to Miss America. She admitted that she was the only contestant who had never had a pedicure. Going on to say that she needs the calluses on her feet for her active lifestyle. She was probably also the only one to know what it’s like to live 4 months out of the year without electricity.
Often found at sunset practicing yoga on the rocks a short hike from the ranch, Jessie would like to, in the future, incorporate more health based activities onto the agenda at the ranch. “I’m proud to be in this position as a woman and showing that I’m capable of running an operation, a business here in Wyoming and making it go smoothly and providing meaningful experiences for people from all over the world. So, to be the one who can organize these trips for people, it’s really meaningful for me.”
Now we want to know: What’s your WY? Share your story with the hashtag #ThatsWY
“Wyoming is in my roots, it’s the foundation of who I am and the core of my being. I attribute all of my successes to have grown up in this state.”