Christmas is over, as evidenced by the trash cans and Dumpsters that are overflowing with boxes and Christmas wrap.
Shoppers are exchanging gifts at area stores, spending gift cards, and taking advantage of after-season sales. Empty store shelves, where Christmas items were displayed, will quickly be restocked with Valentine’s Day items.
At the post office, lines are shorter. Replacing Christmas cards in the mailboxes is income tax preparation information from accountants and government tax offices. Soon to arrive will be seed catalogs offering promises of bigger and better vegetables, fruit trees, and flowers.
The 2009 calendars have been replaced with one of those for 2010, and new day planners are being filled in. Everybody is trying to remember to write “2010.”
On the agriculture front, ranchers are taking mental notes of things that need to be done in the next two to three months.
Some are even gearing up for an early calving/lambing season. Dates for bred cow, cow/calf, hay, and bull sales are being marked on the new calendars.
January also marks the beginning of the National Western Stock Show. Running nearly the entire month, the 2010 Stock Show is jam packed with events, including Cattlemen meetings, rodeos and livestock show competitions. Area 4-H and FFA members have circled dates of their livestock shows on the calendar.
For example, Nate Moon, son of Craig residents Lewis and Lorrae Moon, said he plans to show two steers and a heifer in the National Western Prospect Shows on Jan. 22 and 23.
Moon explained that entries in this competition are calves born during last year’s calving season. He also explained that this show is open to anyone, not just 4-H and FFA members.
Moon’s two steers are now on feed and will be shown in the market division during the 2010 Moffat County Fair. One is a Maine/Angus/Shorthorn and the other is Charolais/Shorthorn. The heifer, that will become part of Moon’s cattle herd, is a registered Black Angus.
Also showing steers in the Prospect Show will be Mackenzie, Call and Chelsee Camblin, of Maybell.
The steers are all Maine/Angus crosses. They, too, are on feed and will be shown during the Moffat County Fair. Mike and Dana Camblin are the parents of these 4-H members.
Jerica DeLong, daughter of Craig residents Jerry and Phyllis DeLong, will show two black face market lambs (medium wool) during the Market Lamb competition at the Stock Show on Jan. 17, and will also compete in Showmanship.
FFA member Nathan Chapman, son of Craig residents J.B. and Paula Chapman, will show two pigs, a Chester and a Duroc, in Market Swine competition.
And Taylor Duzik will compete in the 2010 Heifer Wrangle, held during the Stock Show. She is the daughter of Craig residents Glenn and Paula Duzik.
This is only a sampling of some of the exhibitors to compete during this year’s National Western Stock Show. During the time this story was being written, some area 4-H and FFA members were in competition at the Arizona National Show and could not be reached to confirm their plans to show at the National Western.
Enrollment for the 2010 4-H year is taking place during the month of January.
Members are encouraged to enroll by the end of January, but do not have to.
There are some new projects this year, including “Robotics,” so stop by the Moffat County Extension Office, or call 824-9180 for more information.
Enrollment fees are $15 for Cloverbuds and $25 for all other members.
The annual Feeder Calf Weigh-in and Show is from 8:30 a.m. to noon Feb. 7 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds. The weigh-in and tagging of steers is mandatory in order to show and sell steers during the Moffat County Fair.
Weigh-in is also important in deciding the rate-of-gain contest winner. Nose printing for animals designated for potential Colorado State Fair entries will also be done that day.
A Feeder Calf Show will take place Feb. 7, too.
Carol Haskins, Moffat County Fair Coordinator, said that the purpose of the show is to “give both kids and calves experience.” Haskins further explained that the calves do not have to be fixed up “fancy” to compete in the show.
A story, or stories, on area residents’ participation during this year’s National Western Stock Show will be written the first week in February.
If you have information that could be included in the story, please call Diane Prather at 824-8809.
Copyright Diane Prather, 2009.