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Head to Douglas

Summer is almost over and school is about to start, and that means it must be Wyoming State Fair time.
For those of you who show animals or participate in other events at the fair, school planning will just have to wait. State Fair Director James Goodrich and his staff are ready, and they’re getting nervous they might have forgotten something, while we all know they haven’t. They’re old hands at putting on a State Fair.
As usual, there are some new or improved events on the fairgrounds this year, along with all the other time-honored traditions. I think the most improved event for this year is the ranch rodeo, as this year it will be the finals for affiliated ranch rodeos from around the state. Nowadays numerous communities host ranch rodeos during the summer months, realizing the public really enjoys them. For a ranch rodeo team to be eligible for the finals at State Fair, they must have won a Wyoming ranch rodeo this year, so you get to watch the best of the best. The rodeo will take place Sunday, Aug. 15 at 3 p.m. in the Grandstand Arena. If you want to see great action, that will be the place to be.   
In addition, the State Fair has partnered with the Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE) in Billings, Mont. The top two teams from the State Fair ranch rodeo will enter the NILE ranch rodeo finals in mid-October. It will be good to see how Wyoming’s teams stack up against others from around the region. We know they’ll do well. Hats off to Justin Mills, manager of the NILE, James Goodrich and ranch rodeo finals coordinator Larry Bentley of the Wyoming Department of Agriculture for developing the concept and making it happen, as these events don’t happen on their own.
Also, this year Earl and Jewell Reed will step down after more than 30 years as managers of the State Fair’s wool barn. Earl’s title was Wool Superintendent, while Jewel has been the Wool Annex Manager. Never letting their titles get in the way, this couple’s dedication to the State Fair and the wool barn is legendary. We will certainly miss their great smiles, their patience with the public and their willingness to teach and explain to everyone the opportunities in wool. When you see them, tell them thanks for their years of service. These past Agriculture Hall of Fame honorees are what Wyoming is all about. 
Don’t forget the Cattlemen’s Conference on Wednesday, Aug. 18. A no-host lunch will begin at the Best Western in Douglas at 11:30 a.m., and the conference will follow at 1 p.m. in the meeting rooms of the hotel, sponsored by the Roundup and Double S Feeders of Wheatland. Speakers at the conference will address issues important to Wyoming agriculture. 
Also, don’t forget to stay for the Wyoming Agriculture Hall of Fame Picnic at Riverside Park at 5:30 p.m. Come help Senators Enzi and Barrasso induct Kaycee brothers Don and Peto Meike and Grant Stumbough of Wheatland into the Ag Hall of Fame. Representative Cynthia Lummis will also present the Wyoming Ag in the Classroom Educator of the Year award to Kathy Tatman of Torrington. They’re all well-deserving citizens who have dedicated so much to agriculture.
Dennis