Pat O’Toole is active in organizations that affect Ladder Ranch and Western agriculture. He served in the Wyoming Legislature, and on the Presidentially-appointed Western Water Policy Commission. He is the President of the Family Farm Alliance, which represents Western irrigators. He is also an Advisory Board Member for AGree, a think tank that grapples with food and agriculture policy issues in an international arena. Pat serves on the Board of Directors for the Intermountain Joint Venture, a public/private group which advocates for migratory birds. He also serves on the boards of Partners for Conservation, Farm Foundation, and Solutions from the Land. Pat is active in Western water issues, opposing the loss of agricultural water through transfers. He has testified before Congress regarding Western issues several times.
Sharon Salisbury O’Toole is a full-time rancher who writes extensively on Western issues. She has been published in regional and national publications, including The Washington Post. Sharon currently blogs for the Western Folklife Center on ranch life throughout the year at www.ladderranch.com (“Ranch News”). She serves on the Wyoming Arts Council Board, and has performed at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
Pat and Sharon’s daughter Meghan O’Toole Lally works full-time on the ranching operation and manages the recreation part of the business, as well as concentrating on the management of the sheep. She and her husband, Brian, have four children who also help out. Meghan is a member of Wyoming’s Environmental Quality Council, which oversees surface disturbances, like mining. She was the youngest person to serve on Wyoming’s Board of Agriculture. She was named in True West magazine’s “Best of the West” awards in 2010. Brian is a Carbon County Wyoming Deputy Sheriff and an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Brian volunteers for the local ambulance and teaches EMT classes.
Their son, Eamon O’Toole, also resides on the ranch with his wife Megan and two young sons. He has improved the quality of the cow herd through the use of artificial insemination and increased management of rotational grazing. Eamon served on the Carbon County Planning Commission and was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the American Farmland Trust. Megan is a registered nurse who works in the Craig (Colorado) Memorial Hospital and volunteers for community organizations.
Daughter Bridget O'Toole manages social media for the ranch, in addition to her full-time job with National Jewish Health in Denver. Her husband, Chris Abel, works in the meat division of Shamrock Foods in Denver. He keeps the family up-to-date on markets and marketing.