The show must go on! Well, sort of.
The Cattlemen’s Days 4-H events and Junior Livestock shows and sales are going to happen live at the Gunnison County Fairgrounds July 3-11. It was a long road getting plans approved to have the events safely, but kids and animals are thrilled they can exhibit. I guess, come to think of it, the market animals being sold probably aren’t all that happy! Luckily, we can still have the events safely to show off all of the hard work these kids have put into their projects over the past year and during this incredibly difficult time. Everything will look a bit different this year, but our Gunnison kids are essential. T
Plans had to be developed and approved by both Colorado State University Extension and Gunnison County Health and Human Services. The big difference this year is that spectators will need to view the events on Facebook live. The shows will only be open to kids, parents and volunteers, and the livestock sale will only have buyers in attendance.
We’re really trying to keep our numbers manageable and encouraging the community and grandparents to watch the events from home. We know it won’t have the same community feel, but at the same time, we’re hoping even more people will watch on the internet from the safety of their own homes.
Other changes include the elimination of a fiber show, concessions, a round robin showmanship contest and a buyer’s barbecue. It’s sad that we can’t include these events, but planning for them became a safety issue and we had a hard time meeting health guidelines.
This year the kids will spread out and utilize the entire fairgrounds to house and show the animals. This gives room for kids and families to social distance and not congregate as much. Everyone wants to know about masks, and yes, the plan calls for all participants to have masks and they must be worn when distancing isn’t possible. However, we do have some common sense built into the plans, like kids can take them off when riding a horse, or if the dogs don’t recognize their handlers!
Of course, we’ll have plenty of sanitizer on hand, manage our traffic flows, stay home when needed, and do the best we can to have a safe week.
Our biggest event will be the livestock sale (see related story.) To limit the people at the event, we’re asking that only buyers attend. It will be like old times! Kids will sell the animals on the track in front of the grandstands. We’ll have to space buyers out a little and the grandstand seating offers plenty of room to do this. Once we figured out the logistics of the sale, that’s when we knew “the show could go on!”
It’s hard to say that, without a carnival, Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeos, cotton candy and a whole lot of people that this will be a community celebration; however, we are hoping to support the kids, acknowledge their hard work, and allow some buyers to fill their freezers with some of the best meat in the world!
For the community and friends, we welcome you!
(Eric McPhail is the director of Gunnison County Colorado State University Extension Service.)
Cattlemen’s Days 4-H Schedule 2020
The following is a schedule of all 4-H events and activities during what is normally Cattlemen’s Days. The 4-H events will take place despite the postponement of the rodeo. Spectators are not allowed at this year’s 4-H events, but can be seen on Facebook live, facebook.com/gunnisoncnty4h.
July 3, Friday
9 a.m. 4-H Horse Show
July 6, Monday
8:30-11 a.m. General Project judging & interviews
9 a.m. 4-H Dog Show
7 p.m. 4-H General Project Show
July 7, Tuesday
9 a.m. Set up for General Project kids (exhibit hall and 4-H building)
July 8, Wednesday
8 a.m. Market Poultry Weigh-in
8:30 a.m. 4-H Poultry Show
11 a.m.-1 p.m. All swine can arrive to be health checked in trailers and penned
12-12:30 p.m. Sheep can arrive to be health checked from trailers
1 p.m. Sheep weigh-In from trailers at scale
1:30 p.m. Swine weigh-in from pens
July 9, Thursday
7-7:30 a.m. Market goats can arrive to be health checked from trailers, lined up at scale facing south
7:30-8 a.m. Market beef can arrive to be health checked from trailers, lined up at scale facing south
8 a.m. Market goat weigh-in from trailers at scale
8:30 a.m. Market beef Weigh-In from trailers at scale
10 a.m. 4-H/FFA Swine Show
2:30 p.m. 4-H/FFA Sheep Show
July 10, Friday
9 a.m. 4-H/FFA Market Goat Show
10:30 a.m. 4-H/FFA Beef Show
July 11 Saturday
1:30 p.m. Scholarships presentation
2 p.m. Junior Livestock Auction