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Agriculture Stands Tall

In the past week there were a lot of hats around Wyoming. If you walked around the Wyoming State Fair at all, you had to be very proud of Wyoming agriculture and those involved, both the young and not so young. But of course, we are always proud of the 4-H and FFA members, who are Wyoming’s best. 
On the other news front this week, how about the close races we had in the primary last Tuesday? Ron Micheli ran third for Governor by less than 3,000 votes, and Rita Meyer lost first place by only 600 votes to Matt Mead. Glenrock rancher Richard Grant lost his State House race by only 12 votes before the recount, and he was a first-time candidate. We congratulate Matt Mead and his campaign for winning, as well as all of the winners of their separate races.
Agriculture was represented, or had ties to, the three top candidates on the Republican side of the race for Wyoming Governor, and the Democratic winner also has ties to agriculture. On the campaign trail they all stressed those ties, so the image of agriculture must have positive aspects in the political arena. It does seem funny that some in the state like their candidates with hats, only to later blame farmers and ranchers for controlling what comes out of Cheyenne.
Hats off to those who ran for seats in the Wyoming House and Senate, where, also, I think we had one of the best and biggest state campaigns by those involved in agriculture. In fact, in a couple races there were only farmers or ranchers running. We in agriculture really appreciate the commitment of those from farming and ranching backgrounds who are in the state legislature, and we really appreciate their familys’ hard work holding down the home front while they are in Cheyenne for the legislature, and also when they spend numerous days at committee meetings away from home. 
This year there were a number of young farmer/ranchers running for state office for the first time, and that was good to see. We hope, if they didn’t win, they keep trying. We should support them, as we need some young blood in Cheyenne, especially from agriculture.
Democrats have won three out of the last four races for Wyoming Governor, and this has happened in a state overwhelmingly Republican. There are numerous opinions on why that has happened, and there are most likely as many good answers as to why that is.
I was disappointed in the lack of people running in the State Treasurer and Secretary of State races, from both political parties. As they say, politics is not a spectator sport, and every top state office would hopefully have a couple of people running from each party.             
Another disappointing part of the election again this year was voter turnout. The state average was only 53 percent, except for Park County, which had a couple candidates in the top races. A larger percentage of Republicans voted than Democrats statewide. It is said the most important political office is that of the private citizen.
Dennis