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It's State Fair Time!

Written by Dennis Sun
      It’s that time of year again….State Fair is getting underway in Douglas. James Goodrich and his staff have been very busy planning, managing contractors and hiring temporary workers to get the State fairgrounds ready.  One wonders how it all falls in place with so many happenings to plan, but it works.  “Something for everyone” is a great way to describe the eight days that make up our State Fair.
    That’s what State Fairs are suppose to do — showcase and reflect the state’s agriculture and youth through exhibits, events and the 4-H and FFA events. Add the events in the rodeo arena, the horse arena and the new horse barn, and you have all the action you want. Don’t forget the three new show rings in the vicinity of the livestock pavilion.  It really looks nice with all the new landscaping.
    Nationally, state fairs are on the decline. Some states have canceled them because of the costs associated with them. Some believe state fairs are to generate revenue or income. I strongly disagree. State fairs are to showcase agriculture and those involved.  It gives the public a chance to see where their food and fiber comes from.  Now on the major entertainment, such as concerts and the rodeos, generation of revenue is a worthwhile goal. Any good state fair has to be subsidized to be successful. That’s just the way it is and, if you look at the benefits to the state’s youth, it’s money well spent.
    The Roundup will be hosting the Cattlemen’s Conference at 1 p.m. on Wed., Aug. 12 at the Best Western. We’ll have a no-host lunch buffet at 11:45 a.m. in the restaurant.  I hope you will join us. It’s a good opportunity to visit with old friends and catch up on news before the conference.
    Bridger Feuz from UW Extension will discuss the cattle markets and where they are projected to go in the future months.  Ryan Lance from the Governor’s Office will speak on wind energy, transmission lines and the impacts of the sage grouse on the state.  This will be a very timely and interesting talk given the importance of this discussion to the state and recent discussions surrounding the bird. At this point, the grouse certainly has the attention of mineral and wind industry representatives.
    After Ryan, Bill Parker from the Billings Livestock Commission will speak on the marketing of horses, both loose and ridden. These horse markets and slaughter issues really bring up a lot of questions for us, don’t they?  Bill knows these issues as well as anyone in the business as he sells lots of horses up there.  The last speaker will be Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis visiting with us on national issues that affect Wyoming.  The Congresswoman is on some interesting committees that are really important to Wyoming. I’m sure she’ll have a lot to tell us.
    Don’t forget the picnic at 5 p.m. at Riverside Park. Both Senators and Congresswoman Lummis will be present to help us honor Ag Hall of Fame awardees Rob and Leslie Hendry and George Salisbury. We’ll also be honoring Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year, Pat Russell, from Baggs. See you there.
Dennis