The Montrose County Fair and Rodeo is well underway, and this weekend, local business leaders will be among those who buy animals to support the youth as well as the local agriculture community.
Megan Wilson, the presenting sponsor for the fair and rodeo the past three years, was outbid this year by Fire Mountain Fencing out of Olathe. But her business, Shelter Insurance, is the sponsor of the stock show sale this year. Wilson also served on the fair board for eight years, from 2012-2020.
She said the local business community has always been supportive of the kids who participate and play a big part in keeping agriculture alive.
“I feel like our local business community, especially the mom-and-pop businesses and the local banks and stuff, always show up and show up big,” she said.
Wilson grew up on a small farm and believes in the importance of teaching self-sustaining agriculture as well as teaching people where their food comes from.
“(Businesses) should support these kids to keep the ag community going and teach the importance of it,” she said. “(Farming) is a trade that’s going by the wayside, and this helps understand the importance and the work that goes into it.”
Between sponsorships and money used to buy animals, the annual contribution from the community is in the hundreds of thousands, with 100-200 kids participating in a livestock show in a given year.
Wilson credits the fair board for the community efforts to make the fair and rodeo successful.
“The county and the fair board try to make sure the whole community is included and not just the ones with ties to the ag community,” she said. “They try to get them involved, and I appreciate the county pushing that.”
As part of those efforts, children who participate are required to invite buyers to attend the auctions and buy the animals.
Justin Gleason is a good example of someone who hasn’t bought animals but still finds a way to get involved in the annual summer event.. He hasn’t participated by buying an animal from the livestock show before, but he currently serves on the fair board.
The Norris Snell Real Estate realtor shared his appreciation for the business community.
“There are lots of local businesses that support the kids,” he said. “There are businesses that buy two or three animals, and there are even some that do add-ons.”
For those who don’t have the money to buy animals, which can cost in the thousands, there is the option to donate smaller amounts to several kids to help put money in their pockets.
“It helps the kids get money for their animals next year,” he said. “Some kids are trying to save up for a vehicle. The Montrose community is pretty amazing in supporting the kids.”
The fair gives out prizes to the top three purchasers each year as a show of gratitude for support of the fair.
The Montrose County Fair and Rodeo lasts through Saturday.
At 11 a.m. Saturday, buyers are invited to a buyers lunch at the indoor arena at the Montrose County Fairgrounds. The livestock auction follows at 1 p.m., and the rodeo begins with mutton bustin’ at 6:30 p.m. in the outdoor arena.
Tickets to the CPRA RAM Rodeo at 7:30 p.m. are $15 for adults and $8 for kids 12 and under.
Justin Tubbs is the Montrose Business Times editor. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 970-765-0915 or mobile at 254-246-2260.