Agriculture Under the Stars
Look up at night and you can see why this is called Star Valley. As early as the
1870s, the Mormon Church was placing cattle here to summer graze on the lush meadows.
Later, Mormon pioneers dotted the valley with small farms consisting of dairy cows,
beef cattle, sheep, and hogs supported by hay and small grain production. As the
dairies became more productive, Star Valley producers needed a market. Butter, and
later cheese, was shipped all over the country. There have been at least 20 creameries
and 5 cheese plants in Star Valley.
The extreme environmental conditions and remote location made Star Valley a favorite
haven for individuals who had no interest in running into lawmen. The first settlers who
stayed the winters fit into this group. After they experienced several of these winters,
the settlers realized winter hay storage would be an important part of agriculture in
In the 1940s, the Wyoming Game and Fish began to feed elk, giving producers a
market for their hay. Ranch and farmland provides open space and needed habitat for
many wildlife species. Star Valley boasts some of the country's greatest fisheries and
Star Valley is surrounded by three natonal forests that support thousands of sheep and
cattle on summer range. Today, the valley is a mix of agriculture, recreational
properties, and homes. The open space agriculture provides is one of the reasons so
many people choose to live in Star Valley.