Wyoming Cattle Women celebrate agriculture
December 17, 2008
Agriculture is an important part of Wyoming’s heritage; it is also an important part of our state’s present economy and future livelihood. There are more than 9,200 farms and ranches across this great state. These producers derive more than $850 million in cash incomes annually. In Wyoming, more than 75 percent of cash receipts come from the marketing of livestock and livestock products. These dollars contribute to our local economy by spending dollars in our local communities. Too many Wyoming citizens don’t recognize the importance of agriculture to the state. However, the Wyoming Cattle Women, annually have taken the time to recognize and celebrate our agriculture producers across the state with Wyoming’s youth.
Cowbells, sometimes as they are referred to, have been holding Ag Expos across the state of Wyoming for many years. This year was no exception for the Laramie County Cow-Belles. For the past several years, this dedicated group of women has been celebrating our agriculture heritage with the annual Ag Expo. This event was held at the LCCC Agriculture Building and Indoor Arena.
On September 30 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. the Laramie County Cow-Belles hosted day one, of three days, of the Ag Expo. There were more than 820 students from throughout Laramie County. “The expo is geared toward fourth graders in Laramie County, including those who attend private and public schools and those who are home-schooled,” said the expo’s co-chair, Judy Kallal.
The Cow-Belles rely on the cooperation of small businesses, government agencies, and FFA members of Laramie County to present a variety of exhibits. They are greatly appreciative of the individuals who are willing to take three days to share their knowledge with the fourth grade students. FFA members from both Cheyenne high schools assisted with the Expo by serving as guides for each group of youngsters. Cheyenne’s High Plains Chapter also assisted in the organizing of this year’s Expo by stuffed goodie bags and presenting at several educational stations.
There were thirteen presenters for the wide variety of activities and educational stations. Some of the stations included beef by-products, weeds and pests, USDA wildlife services, trees and conservation, animal branding, and spinning wool into yarn. Corals and pens of farm animals were also provided for the youngsters to see and touch. Other stations that were new this year, was the chuck wagon, presented by Tate Bauman, and the working stock dog demonstration by Bob Wagner. Educational packets and lesson plans on agriculture were provided to the teachers by Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom.
Laramie County Cow-Belles President Patty Epler was very pleased with the success of this year’s event. “It is so important to educate our youth on the importance of Wyoming’s agricultural heritage and present day livelihood,” said Epler. It is wonderful that Cattle Women across the state uphold the tradition to annually recognize and celebrate agriculture through these Ag Expos.