Fair Dedication: The Wellman Family
Wellman Family — we dedicate the 2014 Moffat County Fair to you! John and Debbie Wellman and their family have been familiar faces around the fair for quite some time. They are involved in all aspects of the 4-H program.
John’s great grandfather homesteaded his own 160 acres and purchased the Ferguson Ranch on Milk Creek in 1912. Their place is one of the Centennial Ranches in the state. John’s father and mother, Doug and Lucille Wellman, moved to and began operating the ranch in 1958. John grew up on the ranch, on the border of Moffat and Rio Blanco counties. In 1987, after graduation from Colorado State University and their marriage, John and Debbie returned to the ranch to raise their family.
They have three children — Eric, Lyndi, and Emily. All three children have been actively involved in the 4-H program and active helpers at fair as well. They each started 4-H when they were 8 years old, showing market and breeding sheep throughout their 4-H careers. Eric completed a forestry project one year. He announced at the junior livestock sale and was a fair summer intern. He was also very active in the FFA program at both the local and the state level. Lyndi and Emily always competed in food projects, earning top honors at state fair for many years. Emily took market beef one year and was a junior leader for baking. She assisted in the pavilion in the foods department and Lyndi assisted with photography. Lyndi was senior fair queen and intermediate attendant and Emily was the senior attendant. All three were involved as junior leaders and on 4-H Council. Whenever we needed something done at fair, we always knew we could holler at one of them and they would help us out. Eric is currently an ag teacher in Walden. Lyndi is a chef in Aspen, and Emily is attending Vet Tech School in Glenwood Springs.
Besides running the ranch, John served on the Moffat County Fair Board, serving a term as president. He has been a 4-H Council Advisor, involved with FFA, the Grazing Board, various advisory committees, Moffat County School Board and other civil “busy bodies.” He has been a sheep superintendent at fair for many years. John’s parents, Doug and Lucille Wellman, were 4-H leaders for the Handy Herdsman 4-H Club in Craig from 1968 until approximately 1972. John and his brother, Bill, completed their 4-H experience with the Hamilton Busy Beavers 4-H Club in 1977.
Debbie was raised in Weld County. She was not in 4-H as a youth, but her grandfather, Glenn Ankeney, was a 4-H leader in Weld County in the 1930s. Since coming to Moffat County, Deb has been a 4-H Leader for Hamilton Busy Beavers, recognized as an Honorary Volunteer, and has been a 4-H shooting sports superintendent. Now we have her helping as a foods superintendent in the pavilion for the open classes, as well. We just can’t get enough of her good help!
John and Debbie said in their spare time they enjoy hunting and sightseeing and are spectator sport fans. Their favorite memories of fair centered around having fun with their family. Isn’t that what fair is about? We could not have better role models! Their “fondest” memories were of chasing runaway sheep. It just so happens that all the runaway sheep were Wellman sheep. One year at initial weigh-in, Eric’s sheep got loose and proceeded to escape across Highway 40, with several folks in hot pursuit. He was rescued unscathed! Then one year, not too long ago, they had provided sheep for the mutton bustin’ contest. After the contest as they were loading the girls up to go home, one of them decided she would take a different route. She was finally captured at Mountain Meats. (At least she was heading in the right direction!) Then one year, before we put up orange fencing, a Wellman lamb escaped from the round robin competition. He was retrieved over by the hog barn.
The Wellman children were also involved with the sheep lead contest. This led to more interesting stories, ranging from portraying a schoolmarm from a favorite childhood story, to vacations in the Bahamas in Bermuda shorts and wool socks! I imagine the Wellman’s have quite a few more sheep stories to tell, but these were all told with a laugh and in good humor.
John and Debbie are quite modest, but you can see why we dedicated the 2014 Moffat County Fair to them and their family. Their involvement just goes on and on and it is always done with a smile and a positive attitude. We love working with John and Debbie and just cannot thank them enough for all they do. It is with great appreciation and unending gratitude that the Moffat County Fair Board dedicates the 2014 Moffat County Fair to the Wellmans. Congratulations!