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A Whole Half-Decade

Written by Christy Martinez

On Aug. 14 I spent Sunday afternoon at the Wyoming State Fair Ranch Rodeo Finals in Douglas, enjoying the friendly competition along with a grandstand full of ranch rodeo fans – and it was full, with over 1,000 people setting record attendance.

While 2011 marked the second year of a finals format for Wyoming’s qualified ranch rodeos, Aug. 14 also marked five years that I’ve worked for the Roundup, and, naturally, State Fair week always leaves me reminiscing about my very first week at the paper, which I spent mostly in Douglas, gathering images and articles for my new job as assistant editor.

Of my first Wyoming State Fair, I remember that it was hot, and Casper Mountain had just caught on fire as I was moving to Casper, and I wondered exactly what I’d gotten myself into. Thankfully, since then we’ve received more moisture in the state, and central Wyoming hasn’t experienced any more wildfires of that scale.

In keeping with Roundup tradition, that Wednesday of State Fair week in 2006 the Roundup, along with Encana Oil and Gas and Farm Credit, hosted the Wyoming Agriculture Hall of Fame picnic, where I met many new people, and promptly forgot most of their names. Over the last five years it’s been rewarding to get to know more and more members of Wyoming’s ag community, and it’s great to get to catch up with you at events like the picnic.

One of our first big projects after I started with the Roundup was our annual Fall Cattlemen’s Edition, which featured a county for the first time in 2006, so I was able to take a trip to Sublette County to meet with many ranch families and take in the beautiful scenery that is western Wyoming in the fall. Since then I’ve traveled to just about every corner of the state, stepping foot at least once in each of its counties. Getting to meet Wyoming’s ag producers and sit with them at their kitchen tables has been the most rewarding, and I thank you for being so welcoming to the Roundup staff whenever we’re making our rounds.

The most challenging thing about working with the Roundup’s editorial is staying current on all the issues that affect or could potentially affect the Wyoming ag industry, but that’s something to which many of you are not strangers. We welcome tips from our readers about those things we might otherwise miss – give us a call or an email to fill us in.

These days we’re working on my tenth Cattlemen’s edition, which will feature Big Horn County this fall. Although they’re a big project, we’ve enjoyed our in-depth county profiles for our Fall and Winter Cattlemen’s editions, and we hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoy putting together the interviews, photos and articles.

As State Fair week continued this year, we again hosted our mid-week picnic, on which we still partner with Farm Credit and Encana. Fortunately, not only the tradition of the Ag Hall of Fame continued, but also beautiful weather on the summer evening. Congratulations to Niels Hansen and Harriet Hageman on joining their fellow distinguished members.

Over these last five years, you can bet that I’ve learned a lot, and hopefully have forgotten little. As I move into my sixth year with the paper, and wrap up my second as managing editor, I hope to continue to stay in touch and see you frequently around the state.

Christy