Eagle County woman elected Washburn University’s first female ag law society president
Abigail Horn, who grew up on her family’s ranch in McCoy, is in her third year of law school
A woman born and raised on a regional ranch has been elected the first female president of her law school’s agricultural law society.
Abigail Horn was elected president of the Agricultural Law Society at Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas, the first woman to earn the honor.
Horn grew up on her family’s ranch in McCoy, population 33, between Vail and Steamboat Springs. She is in her third year of Washburn’s school of law, and is scheduled to graduate next May.
Her passion for agriculture began at an early age, she said.
“Growing up in a very small community, I learned the importance of the agricultural industry and its impacts of everyone,” Horn said. “As I serve as president, I hope I am able to share this passion with attorneys who do not understand the impact or importance of agriculture.”
Natural born overachiever
Horn inherited her overachiever habits from her parents, Brita and Gary.
Brita Horn has been chief of the Rock Creek fire department and a first responder for two decades. She is the former Routt County Treasurer.
Gary Horn operates the family cattle ranch with his twin brother outside of McCoy, where they raise close to 500 cow/calf pairs. They also raised daughters Abigail and Izabel. Along with everything else, Abigail and Izabel even run a successful soap business, Bubble Creek Soap.
The Raymond Horn Ranch has been in the family since 1964.
Along with growing up working in the family ranching business, Abigail and Izabel raised sheep and cattle for 4-H and Future Farmers of America. Abigail Horn says that created in her the work ethic and determination she needed to study law and give back to rural ranching families.
“I remember holding on to my dad bouncing over piles of dirt on the back of his motorcycle riding to the next ditch to move water,” Horn said. “Those memories make me determined to serve small agriculture ranching families when they have water issues on their land.”
After she graduated South Routt County High School (SOROCO), Horn headed to Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, where she earned her undergrad degree in agriculture economics with a minor in animal science and industry.
Horn said she decided on Washburn’s law school because it combines her interest in water law with her passion for preserving the rural way of life.
“A lot of students come from Kansas City and Wichita and major metropolitan areas here in the Midwest, so we banded together to promote ag, promoting where our food comes from,” Horn told The Fence Post. “There are a lot of students in the law school with us don’t understand that food doesn’t come from the grocery store.”
At Washburn, Horn participated in the Dane G. Hansen Rural Externship program, which places students in legal positions in rural Northwest Kansas. Horn is working with Sebilius and Griffiths, LLP in Norton, Kansas, where she concentrates on juvenile prosecution, city, county, corporate, agriculture, water, banking, and state medical assistance programs.
“I appreciate rural communities and enjoy being in small towns and serving the people who need it most,” she said. “There is a shortage of attorneys all through western Kansas and eastern Colorado, as well as central and western Nebraska.”
At Washburn she’s also a research assistant for Professor Rodger McEowen and helps maintain the Washburn Agriculture Law and Tax Report.
Developers of an addiction treatment center at the former Lodge at Cordillera site say lawsuits brought forth by Cordillera residents and the metro district violated federal law, and the parties are headed to federal court.