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Four States Ag Expo starts Friday in Cortez

The Four States Agricultural Exposition gets off to a flying start Friday and goes through Sunday. (Journal file)
Three-day event features ranching and farming exhibits, educational workshops, demonstrations and events for children

The 40th annual Four States Agricultural Exposition takes place Friday through Sunday at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds.

The expo offers an incredible array of vendors, demonstrations and workshops related to farming and ranching. Admission is $5 per day for ages 16 and over. Veterans get in free on Saturday.

The full schedule is available on The Journal’s website.

“This year, all the vendor booths are full,” said organizer Cindy Clare. “That has not happened in the last two years because of the pandemic. There is a lot going on each day, so we invite everyone to join us.”

She said this year there are 77 vendors, up from 60 to 65 before the pandemic and 45 to 50 during the pandemic.

The expo added 12 vendors from the Cortez Farmers Market group, which sells locally grown produce, food items, original artwork, crafts, body products and more.

Clinics and workshops

The expo features experts hosting clinics on a variety of topics. Brandy Stevenson will teach horse riding skills. Colton Mikkelson will host stock dog training. Kathy Klix will highlight the benefits of chiropractic care for horses. Mark and Mardi Anson will demonstrate the attributes of Roan Belgian draft horses. Farrier Matt Lawlor will teach best practices for horse health.

Horse training clinics taught by expers are popular at the Four States Ag Expo. (Journal file)

The Ag Summit includes multiple educational courses and discussion groups. Here is just a sample of what is available.

  • Dolores County CSU Extension Agent Gus Westerman will host a pesticide applicator workshop.
  • Montezuma County CSU Extension agent will discuss tools to plan for drought.
  • Crop researcher Abdel Berrada will host a presentation on the status of growing and marketing of industrial hemp.
  • Montezuma County CSU Extension Director Greg Felsen and Alina Yazzie with Montezuma County Public Health will give a presentation on rural mental health.
  • Ag Risk Advisors will host a workshop on how producers can reduce risks and increase the bottom line.
  • Temple Grandin, autism advocate and professor of animal science at Colorado State University, will give a presentation on agriculture and autism.
Fun for the kids

There are many events for children throughout the three days, including the chicken chase, face painting, ice-cream eating contests, and a class on crosscut branding using pieces of aspen.

The Children’s Agricultural Learning Facility is back this year after being absent last year because of pandemic concerns. The CALF program is organized by Montezuma School to Farm Project to teach kids about agriculture, animals and ecosystems.

There are many livestock education programs for youth at the Four States Agricultural Exposition Friday through Sunday at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds. (Journal file)

Children at the CALF programs will participate in live demonstrations with chickens, goats, alpacas, donkeys and birds of prey, plus fun with worms and soil health.

Also The Blow and Go Beef Show provides youths interested in showing livestock the opportunity to practice in an arena and winning awards.

Other highlights at the ag expo include the San Juan Mounted Archers, live music, a food fermenting workshop, antique tractor display, and a very special horse guest from the herd at Mesa Verde National Park named Marvel.

Saturday is Veterans Day at the expo. Veterans get in free, and there will be a VFW presentation of the colors at noon at the main pavilion.

“Our 25 volunteers have put in a lot of work, and we anticipate good attendance,” Clare said. “It feels like this year we’re back to the full ag expo that we’re all used to.”