Every region has special traditions and events that reflect its identity and character.
In Denver, one of those traditions is just getting underway: Stock Show.
Ranchers from throughout the country are bringing their prized livestock to Denver for a two week flurry of judging events, competitions, and auctions. The National Western Stock Show began more than a century ago. At the time, the Denver stockyards were a key national hub, business, with meat packing plants and auction barns surrounding an extended web of cattle pens. Those days are long gone, but every January, the old Stockyards come alive with the sounds and smells of livestock.
And, the urban residents of Denver and surrounding areas love to get “cowboyed up” in their western duds, and come out to see the animals, enjoy a rodeo, and get a mid-winter fill of cotton candy.
Of course, my favorite part of Stock Show is the annual bison show and sale. Ranchers from several states and Canada will bring about 80 head of bison to Denver to be judged, and then auctioned to new owners. During those few days, a corner of the old Denver Stockyards becomes a center for all-thing bison. High School FFA chapters come in one afternoon for a Junior Judging competition. Ranchers gather around the pens to look for that perfect breeding bull or heifer that can improve their herds. And city folks can wander through the area to get up-close-and-personal with a 1,800 lb. bison.
If you’re in the Denver area this month, come on over to Stock Show to enjoy a throwback to our western heritage.
Wherever you live, there will likely be a county fair or other event sometime this year that will provide an opportunity to get a taste of farming and ranching.
Make a New Year’s Resolution to go to one of these events, now just to see the exhibits, but to take advantage of the opportunity to visit with the farmers and ranchers who are there. They’d love a chance to connect with their customers.
Photo Source: Denver Post