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Support Our State Fair

Written by Dennis Sun

Those of us who don’t function well in hot weather are always glad to see the last half of August show up. The days are still hot, but the nights are getting cooler and the early morning hours are great. There is always a chance of a thunderstorm somewhere in the state, and there’s change in the air. All of these things signal the Wyoming State Fair is near.

Through the years we’ve all become experts on how to best run the State Fair. Despite what we think, it always turns out successfully, and lately that’s due to the expert management of Wyoming State Fair Director James Goodrich.

At times when we complain we forget all that is right about our state fair and we forget its positives. Remember, for an event as big as the Wyoming State Fair there is always something to complain about, but James usually gets it fixed for the next year.

I say “our” because our state fair belongs to all of this state’s citizens, and those who are involved in the State Fair or agriculture really take ownership of the event. Sometimes we take too much ownership, but we want it to be a success because we are proud of it and what it showcases. As James says, “It just takes money,” and I suppose that is partly true, but it also takes good people. If you see James while you are at the fair, stop and give him a pat on the back and tell him he’s doing a good job – he deserves it.

We hope you can get away on Wednesday, Aug. 17 for the Cattlemen’s Conference at 1 p.m. at the Clarion Inn, which is the old Best Western, in Douglas. If you can make it at noon, join us for the no-host prime rib lunch buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

During the conference, Steve Paisley from UW’s SAREC facility will speak on selection and development of your replacement heifers. Steve has been using ultrasound and is really on to some good management tools, and with cattle so high-priced these days we want to make sure we keep the right ones. Next the conference will break with tradition and Kaycee-area rancher Bob Harlan will speak on the record prices in the sheep industry, which will be interesting. Bob knows the sheep industry, and also some good jokes. Frank Galey, Dean of the UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, will speak on brucellosis and the development of a potential vaccine, which is a huge topic in Wyoming. Representative Lummis will be on hand to discuss happenings in Washington, D.C., as will Senator Enzi and Senator Barrasso, if they can make it.  

Later at 5:30 p.m. at Riverside Park north of the fairgrounds, please join us for the Wyoming Agriculture Hall of Fame Picnic, which is sponsored by Farm Credit Services, EnCana Oil & Gas and the Roundup. This year we’ll honor Rawlins-area public lands rancher Niels Hansen and natural resources attorney Harriet Hageman of Cheyenne.

The 2011 Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom Educator of the Year Beth Marlatt of Hulett will also be honored, as will past Wyoming Livestock Board Director Jim Schwartz, and Susan Thomas will award the Craig and Susan Thomas Foundation Leadership Award.

Please come out to the picnic to help us honor these deserving citizens.   

Dennis