Tuesday, August 24

state fair week

in the midst of everything else going on, i barely mentioned that last week was state fair week here in wyoming. the state fairgrounds are in douglas, and wednesday is the big day for the roundup, as we co-host a cattlemen's conference all afternoon and then a picnic for our wyoming agriculture hall of fame that evening.

the conference features four or five speakers on a variety of topics related to the industry. this year we had a lawyer working with the antitrust/meatpackers issue, an extension agent talking about profitability, or how to make the most money, in a beef operation and jim magagna, who works with the stockgrowers, but was there independently to talk about the recent deal struck with an oil company, el paso, about the ruby pipeline, which begins in western wyoming, and a separate deal struck with a couple enviro groups. the problem with the deal with the enviros is that they came out and stated publicly they were going to use the money to end public lands grazing. as you can imagine, the uproar ensued.

the ever-intelligent u.s. representative cynthia lummis, who had just been reelected by wyoming republicans in the primary the day before, was there to update the group on d.c. and what a mess congress is, and then we had the director of the wyoming oil and gas conservation commission speak on a new oil play taking shape in southeast wyoming, which is unusual because there's been barely any mineral development there before.

then we headed over to a park just north of the fairgrounds for our picnic, where scott helped set up all the tables and chairs before our program, which included two brothers inducted into the ag hall of fame, don and peto meike of kaycee, and grant stumbough of wheatland, who's the rc&d coordinator and has really helped the landowners in that area organize and group themselves to obtain stronger contracts from the wind development companies.

cynthia lummis also presented the wyoming ag in the classroom educator of the year award to kathy tatman of lingle.

senator john barrasso, grant stumbough, don meike, representative cynthia lummis, peto meike and senator mike enzi at our picnic, after the three wyomingites were inducted into the ag hall of fame. each of them receives a custom belt buckle with their name on it, and a framed copy of that year's hall of fame print. if you notice, don meike switched his belt buckles on the spot, and he's proudly showing his off in the photo. :-)

this is mantha phillips of casper, teacher kathy tatman, whose husband was an extension educator in goshen county for years, and cynthia. mantha is the president of ag in the classroom now, a position publisher dennis held for many years prior. mantha's house is gorgeous inside, and when you visit her she brings you coffee in a glass cafe mug. :-)

i can't remember exactly how many years the roundup has hosted the picnic, but it's never rained. come close a couple times, and dennis was a little nervous this year, watching a rain cloud go south of douglas. it was another beautiful evening, and it was hot when we got there to set up the tables and chairs, but it cooled down and there was a breeze, and it was gorgeous later that night for the locash cowboys/joe diffie concert that scott and i went to with his mom, sister and nephews.

peto and don are two of the nicest gentlemen you could ever meet.

and grant stumbough is very bright, and easy to work with, and is always available to answer questions. i have a feeling all the landowners in his area agree.

and here they are, in live and living color, the locash cowboys, who dress so over the top that i couldn't bear to put their photo in the state fair edition. however, they did win me over a little, as they do sound really good. maybe i'll give them another chance or two, since their first single, released last spring, didn't help them out any, either.

and the classic 90s country artist joe diffie took his turn singing to us. scott and i danced a little to some of his stuff, and i danced with scott's nephew dallas, but i tell you what, country swing dancing in a dirt arena is very tough. one fast song with dallas was enough for me!

and then, walking out of the fairgrounds, the gates were locked and climbing over the chainlink fence scott proceeded to tear the entire nail off his thumb, so that spurred a trip to his mother's to doctor it before we headed back to casper.

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