8 to 11 a.m. Entry of open class exhibits for all age groups and vocational agriculture entries (entry closes promptly at 11 a.m.) — Pavilion 8 to 11 a.m. Accept homemade beverage entries — Pavilion 10 a.m. to noon. Weigh-in of market sheep and market goats (junior division breeding sheep and breeding goats may also be checked in at this time) — Livestock barn 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check-in of market swine — Swine barn
Four cases of mutilated livestock have been reported in western Colorado, prompting the Gunnison County Stockgrowers Association to offer $500 for any information leading to a conviction.
What do you enjoy about a county fair? For a child, the hit of a fair might be petting the rabbits and ducks, sharing a popsicle with a lamb, and playing in the water and mud around the cattle wash rack. Adults enjoy the judging competitions, checking out the judged exhibits and visiting with neighbors. Fairgoers of every age look forward to cotton candy, funnel cakes and hot dogs.
J.D. Sexton has been around the ranching lifestyle for years. “I’ve just been part of the livestock industry my whole life,” the Laporte native said. “As a youth I was able to be part of 4-H and showed livestock competitively. It’s just been kind of a family thing. My grandfather was actually the extension agent for Larimer County and Fort Collins.” Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, Sexton began work June 18 as Colorado State University’s Moffat County Extension and 4-H youth agent. Though daily responsibilities vary, he said a big part of the job involves helping local 4-H programs, in which he said he is “a huge believer.”
Jars of salsa, freshly grown produce, handcrafted knick-knacks. If you can grow it or make it, the Craig Farmers Market wants you. The Farmers Market is in the middle of its high point during the summer months, as patrons turn out Thursday afternoons at its downtown location in Alice Pleasant Park to check out local and regional products. Offering everything from produce like Palisade peaches and Olathe sweet corn to meals like homemade burritos to crocheted clothing items, area growers and artisans always have something new to offer.
Colorado may implement Stage 3 drought plan for agriculture
Three days after examining drought conditions in the Yampa Valley, state officials said Friday plans are in place to up the drought plan from Stage 2 to Stage 3. Taryn Hutchins-Cabibi, drought and climate change technical specialist for the Colorado Water Conservation Board and one of the organizers of Tuesday’s drought tour, said officials took a lot of valuable information away from local ranchers and plan to discuss their recommendation to increase the state drought plan to Stage 3 with Gov. John Hickenlooper soon. Colorado’s drought plan features three stages, one monitoring phase and two response phases, Hutchins-Cabibi said.
Despite an ironically timed thunderstorm, various state officials toured the Yampa Valley on Tuesday, hoping to see firsthand the effect of this summer’s drought. The group included John Salazar, state agriculture commissioner; John Stulp, policy advisor on water; Al White, former Colorado Senator in District 8 and current director of the state tourism office; and representatives from other state and federal agencies. The officials made three stops along the tour to meet with local ranchers and agriculture officials. For White, a Hayden resident, the tour was mostly about showing his colleagues at the state capital what life has been like for ranchers and farmers in the Yampa Valley.
Bubbles big enough to stand inside, shows, a climbing wall, kayaking, and plenty of other special features and contests are all part of the entertainment planned for the 2012 Moffat County Fair, slated for Aug. 5 through 12. The fair will kick off Sunday, Aug. 5 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds covered picnic area with Cowboy Church, featuring Christian Cowboy Poet Fred Ellis. Loretta Earle, of Craig, will sing during the service. Ellis has brought his Cowboy Church to the fair before.
Monty Pilgrim guilty on 15 of 27 counts in district court
Jury deliberations in the trial of Monty Luke Pilgrim, 52, of Little Snake River, resumed this morning at 8 a.m. The jury requested to review a piece of evidence, a videotaped interview between Moffat County Sheriff’s Office livestock investigator Gary Nichols, Pilgrim and Pilgrim’s wife, Michelle. The two-hour interview took place in August 2011 at the Moffat County Public Safety Center following a July 2011 joint investigation between Nichols and Colorado Brand Inspector Brad Ocker.
A jury trial in the case against a Moffat County rancher charged with violating state cattle statutes began this morning in Moffat County District Court. Monty Pilgrim, 52, of Little Snake River, is charged with one count of theft exceeding $20,000, a Class 3 felony; nine counts of theft of certain animals, a Class 4 felony; one count of concealing strays, a Class 6 felony; and one count of wrongful branding, a Class 6 felony. After more than four hours of questioning this morning, the jury pool was narrowed from 25 to 12, plus an alternate.
There’s always a lot of excitement surrounding the summer activities that go on through the Moffat County Extension Office, and plenty of hustle-bustle too. This summer is no exception. First of all, the Extension Office has welcomed a new Moffat County Extension and 4-H Agent. He’s JD Sexton. JD and his wife, Lacey, have lived in Moffat County for four years. They have a little daughter, Laramie. JD looks forward to working with Moffat County producers and their families. Currently, JD is busy putting together a Drought Management Workshop for Agricultural Producers. The workshop is coming right up so mark Thursday, July 12, on your calendar. It will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion.
Colorado senators Mark Udall (D) and Michael Bennet (D) announced Tuesday agricultural producers throughout Colorado are eligible for emergency haying and grazing on U.S. Department of Agriculture lands. Sixty-two of Colorado’s 64 counties have been designated by the USDA as primary natural disaster areas due to losses caused by drought, excessive heat and high winds, according to a joint Udall/Bennet news release issued Tuesday. The two other Colorado counties have been named contiguous disaster areas. “The entire state of Colorado has been severely affected by hot and dry conditions that have hampered the production of our agricultural producers,” Bennet said in the release. “The designations from USDA will provide much-needed assistance to farmers to help offset their losses due to drought. Agriculture is a critical part of Colorado’s economy, and these resources will help producers weather a difficult growing season.”
Ervin and Arloa Gerber’s yard looked like an oasis. A rock fountain burbled near their front door, and peacocks strutted nearby, flaunting iridescent plumes of sapphire and emerald. If this was all you saw of the Gerbers’ cattle ranch west of Craig, you could believe Mother Nature had been good to them this year. But their well-tended yard belied the wasteland that waited not far from their doorstep.
The cattle and some sheep are out on pasture now—where there is pasture. Some ranchers may still be irrigating –where there’s water to irrigate, and some may even be putting up dry land hay—where there’s hay. “Dry” is the word for this early summer—and “strange”. It’s a strange season for a number of reasons all of which are probably associated with the dry winter.
Colorado has issued a new requirement for horses entering the state from New Mexico, where 11 premises have been quarantined due to a virus. State veterinary officials said Friday that health certificates for horses, mules, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, swine and camelids from New Mexico now must include a statement from a veterinarian stating that no signs of vesicular stomatitis have been found in the animals and that the animals didn't come from a premise that was quarantined for the disease. Vesicular stomatitis can cause painful sores in infected animals. It is believed to be spread through insects that migrate along river valleys.