New Colorado state fair board member to fill ‘big shoes’
Nikki Weathers will represent Colorado’s eastern plains on the Colorado State Fair board of directors. Photo by Jeff Rice, Sterling Journal-Advocate
Nikki Weathers will be the first to say she has a big job ahead of her.
“I’ve gotten calls from people around the state and they’re all telling me I have some big shoes to fill,” she said.
Weathers was recently appointed to the Colorado State Fair and Rodeo Board of Authority, representing the eastern plains. The reference to “big shoes” isn’t so much because of anyone she’s replacing as it is the challenges the fair board faces in the coming year. Having cancelled all but the most essential parts of the 2020 state fair, the board is looking at rebuilding the event for 2021.
Weathers has the background and the tools to help with that effort. She was raised on her family’s Hereford and black baldy ranch near Bayfield, Colo., she grew up showing cattle at county fairs and livestock shows. She attended Northeastern Junior College and then Colorado State University, earning degrees in agricultural business and animal science. Through the CSU Farm Bureau chapter, she met a Yuma, Colo., “farm boy,” Nathan Weathers, married him and returned with him to northeast Colorado.
The Weathers operation is one of the largest and most successful in eastern Colorado, thanks to three generations of experience and a family tradition of embracing innovation. Corn for sileage, popcorn, hay and Angus cattle are among the things raised on the Weathers farm, along with children Ky, 8, and Kenley, 6.
“We raise corn, cattle and kids,” Weathers said with a grin.
The kids are an integral part of Weathers Farms’ future, too. Nathan and Nikki have set up a small company for their children to learn about buying, raising and selling cattle and other commodities, and let them use the Weathers livestock brand — Lazy T open cotter — on their signage.
She is well-versed in public service as well, having served on a multitude of committees, including the Colorado Farm Bureau board of directors, as Farm Bureau’s Women’s Leadership Chairperson, with the Yuma County Cattlewomen and on the Yuma County Farm Bureau board, as well as being a youth leader at the New Life Christian Center. But with a growing family and a growing farm operation, Nikki Weathers decided to take a break a few years ago.
“I just wanted to stay home and help with the farm and raise our kids,” she said.
And then came the call. Being steeped in her faith, Weathers figures it was God who called her to serve yet again. Actually, it was a phone call from Don Brown, former Colorado Agriculture Commissioner, although in Yuma County it amounts to the same thing.
“Faith is the thing that gets us through the day. This is a tough industry, being in ag, and God is in control of getting us to make this farm the best farm that it can be,” Weathers said. “I had said that I didn’t want to be on boards anymore, but knowing that I can do His work no matter where I’m at, that He puts us where He wants us to be, I need to be obedient to be where He wants me to be.”
She said her religious faith also guided her through the interview process and will inform her actions as a board member. The Colorado State Fair is one of the most important agricultural events in the state, she said, and it’s not just for farm folk, it’s for all Coloradans.
“(The state fair) should be one of the biggest shows in the state to showcase agriculture and youth,” she said. “It should be a place where people go to learn about ag and we can have the conversation about where our food comes from and why ag is so important in our state.”
Weathers believes there’s room for the state fair to grow, and she hopes to help make it bigger and better than ever. And while she believes she’s ready for the challenge, Weathers readily admits she has a lot of learning yet to do.
“First, I have to listen,” she said.
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