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Wyoming’s First 4-H Beef Club

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

This week’s Postcard is a repeat of a story which ran 11 years ago, yet timely as 4-H members are busy showing animals at county and state fairs throughout Wyoming. Enjoy! 

The 4-H movement in Carbon County started 80 years ago at a ranch on Beaver Creek, east of Encampment, with the establishment of Wyoming’s first beef club. 

According to the “History of 4-H Club Work in Wyoming – 1913-1964” by Burton W. Marston, “The first successful beef club in the state to carry on for more than one year was developed in the Encampment community. It exhibited and won honors at both the State Fair and Denver Stock Show.” 

The club was formed in the Saratoga/Encampment Valley of south central Wyoming in 1929 and called the Beaver-Encampment Valley Organization (BEVO). The BEVO club is still active, exhibiting and winning honors at the Wyoming State Fair as well as the Denver Stock Show and many other national livestock exhibits. 

Members of the club were Erma Platt (Logan), Ronald Wolfard, Rene Vyvey, Walter Flohr, R. E. Platt Jr., Henry Flohr, Jr. and John Vyvey. Leader was Adrian Wolfard.  

Most of the members and the club’s leader went on to become ranchers in the Saratoga/Encampment valley. Others were in agriculture related businesses. Descendants of the first members are still active in the 4-H program as members and leaders. 

Instrumental in the organization of the BEVO club was John J. McElroy. Marston noted in his publication, “John J. McElroy went into the county agent office in Carbon County in 1927 and continued there for almost nine years. He worked effectively with all groups in the county – farmers, stockmen, urban businessmen and youth. He gave a large amount of attention to building up the county fair, largely as an opportunity for the 4-H clubs to feature their work.” 

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