“American Roots” is the theme of the upcoming Four States Agricultural Expo on March 17-19 at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds.
Every year the event grows, and this year is no different, said executive director Radiance Beals.
“So much is new, and all of the favorite events are there as well,” she said.
There will be the traditional 4H livestock judging events, agricultural classes, livestock displays, farm equipment shows, local politician forums and horse-training symposiums.
Some of the many kids activities are mutton busting (sign up at IFA), scavenger hunts, chicken chasing, pedal tractor pull, and ice-cream eating contests, plus much more.
Organizers have added some twists this year as well.
There will be a Hoof Beats Bareback Riding Contest on Saturday. Contestants put an item under their knee, then ride a horse bareback through an obstacle course while keeping the item in place.
Also every day at high noon, a stagecoach pulled by horses will appear and cowboys will jump out to have a mock shootout to entertain the crowds.
And this year, the Drive to Ride event gives adults the chance to test drive and demo farm equipment from SW Ag, John Deere and Wagner Equipment.
Also new and improved this year is restructured Children’s Agricultural Learning Facility (CALF).
Montezuma School to Farm agreed to coordinate the CALF program, and have already increased participation. This year 450 students from seven local schools are signed up for the educational field trips held at the expo. Last year, about 250 kids took part.
“We are a natural fit and were good position to take on a larger role like this because of our current agricultural work at schools,” said Christine Foote, program coordinator for School to Farm.
On Thursday and Friday, students in grades K-6 will rotate through a series of hands-on educational booths and presentations focusing on farm-animal sciences, agriculture practices, and trade skills, including welding, wool spinning and leather working. The CALF booths and presenters will be open to the public as well, and will be most accessible on Saturday.
“We presenting agriculture and the trades as real future careers,” Foote said.
Some other highlights of the expo this year include renown horse trainers and livestock dog experts.
Headliner Carl Wood is a world-class horse trainer from Delta. Wood plans to bring a large crew of volunteers and quarter horses to help him with demonstrations. His focus is on versatility, working cattle horses, and trail and ranch reining.
“I think a lot of people are looking for instant success, because that is what our society has become,” Wood says. “They’re in a hurry and leave out things important to the task, but you have to have patience.”
Brad Barkemeyer will host a roping clinic, and Mike Brashear will teach the Foundations of Finished Horsemanship. Cathy Balliu will be giving stock dog clinics, and there will be the always entertaining agility dog events.
Adult classes and trainings are also offered and are free with the $5 price of admission to the expo. Take an pesticide applicators workshop, soil and crop management class, and Colorado Beef Quality Assurance training and certification, among other courses.
So far, 80 vendors have signed up, and there is still room for more. Food will be provided by the Pleasant View PTO, Sweetwater wood-fired pizzas, TS Concessions, and Creebs No. 1 BBQ. Music will be performed by Donny Johnson, Lynn Lewis, Mark Baker, and the Silver Girls.
“The ag expo is not just for large farmers, it caters to small farmers and backyard gardeners also,” Beals said. “There is truly something for everyone no matter who your are, so clear out your calendars March 17, 18 and 19 and come to the fairgrounds.”
For more information call (970) 529-3486 or go to www.FourStatesAgExpo.com