Platte County exhibitors represent ag
The Platte County Fair has been a loved tradition since its first appearance in Wheatland in 1911. This year’s fair is Friday, July 29 through Sunday, Aug. 7.
Kaylee Rasnake will be a sophomore at Wheatland High School this year and has been involved with 4-H since she was nine years old. She is looking forward to showing her market goats Macie, Apollo, Tinker, Sadie and John Luke; breeding goat Millie; and horse Chance at this year’s fair.
When Kaylee isn’t working with her animals, she enjoys all of the other activities and entertainment the fair has to offer.
“I get to spend time hanging out with friends and I get to talk with a lot of people,” she says. “I’ve met a lot of people at the fair that have had huge impacts on my life and I’m very blessed to have had those opportunities to meet those people.”
Allie Van Why is going into her senior year at Chugwater High School and will be exhibiting her steer Mo and competing in the 4-H Fashion Review. Allie says the fair is always one of her favorite events of the year.
“I just love the fair – I get to see people I know and make new connections,” she says. “I love being able to be there with my steer and show people what I’m representing.”
“It’s really cool to be able to exhibit these projects and show all the things agriculture offers,” she continues. “Fair gives me the chance to talk to people who maybe aren’t familiar with ag and educate them – that’s what I really enjoy.”
Preparing for the fair
Kaylee says preparing animals for the fair requires time and patience.
“I work with my animals every day,” she says. “I walk them on treadmills in the morning to help build up their muscle and I brace with them twice a day. We do a lot of walking, washing and clipping.”
Allie says the key to preparing for the fair is working with the animals as soon as possible.
“Start tying them up and getting them halter broke,” she says. “This way, when they get big and don’t want to move, they’re easier to control.”
She also suggests getting the animals on a washing schedule – rotating between rinsing, blow drying and conditioning daily.
“You really want to get them comfortable with the blower and the fitting chute,” she says. “You also want to be working with the show stick and getting them comfortable with that.”
Allie works with her steer at least once per day.
“I try to tie him up and wash every day, especially in the heat, and I use my show stick to make sure he is comfortable with it,” she says. “I get him comfortable with the aspects of showing along with making sure he’s prepared.”
Kaylee says she always sets goals before attending the fair.
“This is my third year showing my horse, but I’m going into the senior division, so showing is going to be a little more intense this year as far as the horse show goes,” she says. “I’m really looking to do well in my performance classes.”
“With my goats, I try to place in the top three in showmanship,” she says. “Every year, for the last couple of years, I’ve shot for round robin, and the last two years as an intermediate I have won. It’s going to be a lot more challenging this year, but it’s ultimately my goal at the end of fair.”
Allie hopes to represent agriculture in the products she brings to the fair.
“I don’t raise show steers, per say, but I raise a steer that represents an industry standard,” she says. “My steer is from our herd – it’s home raised.”
Allie’s steer doesn’t look like a typical show steer, which is what makes her steer so unique.
“I am proud to show my steer because he represents what you will see in the industry, in the feedlots and what you’re getting on your table,” she says. “My biggest goal every year is to really represent the industry I’m raised in and love so much. This is my part in agriculture.”
Her goal to represent the agriculture industry transfers over to her fashion projects as well.
“I deal with wool, which represents an entirely different segment of ag a lot of people forget,” she says. “I sewed a lot of pieces with wool this year representing natural fibers and also a lot of synthetic fibers impacting the ag industry, which a lot of people don’t necessarily think of when they think of ag.”
Allie says 4-H offers “something for everyone.”
“Even if you’re not into livestock, 4-H offers robotics, Lego competitions, fashion, etc.,” she says. “This is why I love 4-H.”
She also says 4-H teaches independence.
“We learn how to do things by ourselves and grow through those things,” she says. “Doing something a little bit harder each time helps us learn.”
Allie aims to learn a new skill each year competing in Fashion Review.
“When I try something different, I continue to learn, grow and gain independence in all of the skills I learn,” she says.
She says showing livestock teaches responsibility and requires dedicated care for the animals.
“4-H kids get up every morning and feed their animals at the same time, and make sure they’re washed and fed and walked,” she says. “All of those things go into training the animal. Sometimes, it’s hard to do it on your own, but you have to stick to a schedule and make sure the animals are the number one priority.”
Kaylee says 4-H members learn valuable skills and have the opportunity to meet new people while at the fair.
“4-H teaches a lot of responsibility,” she says. “It teaches youth to take ownership and credibility for the things that happen.”
“I’ve learned to overall be a better person,” she continues. “If I don’t win, I shake the competitors’ hands and the judge’s hand.”
The Platte County Fair has different types of events and activities to keep the whole family entertained throughout the week this year.
The 4-H Dog Show takes place Saturday, July 30 at 8 a.m., and the rodeo is at 6 p.m. The 4-H Horse Show takes place on Sunday, July, 31, at 8 a.m.
Monday, Aug. 1, will have a 4-H Dog Show at 8 a.m., 4-H Cat Show at 2 p.m. and the Platte County Horseman’s Association Gymkhana at 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 2, offers fun activities including a pedal tractor pull from 2-4 p.m. and bingo at 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 3, starts bright and early with the 4-H Sheep Show at 8 a.m. The 4-H Poultry Show will take place at 1 p.m. and the 4-H Swine Show is at 6 p.m.
Multiple 4-H shows take place on Thursday, Aug. 4, along with youth fun night from 5-9 p.m., an ice cream social and bingo at 5:30 p.m., Platte County Roping Event at 7 p.m. and a youth dance at 9 p.m.
Round robin kicks of Friday, Aug. 5, at 8 a.m., and the day will end with a dance featuring music by Tyler Byrd and the Flock.
Saturday, Aug. 6, kicks off with a free pancake breakfast in downtown Wheatland at 7 a.m., followed by the parade at 10 a.m. A junior ranch rodeo is at 2:30 p.m., and pig wrestling and mutton busting will take place at 5 p.m. Country Artist Tris Munsick will end the night with a performance at 9 p.m.
Kaitlyn Root is an editor for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.