Mitchell welcomed to WSF team
The Wyoming State Fair (WSF) welcomed Kris Mitchell into her new position as assistant general manager on Sept. 16. Mitchell has served on the WSF team for three years as the exhibit supervisor.
With substantial experience in the rodeo industry and ties in Wyoming’s agricultural community, Mitchell feels she is equipped with the right tools to be successful in this position.
“My roots run really deep – I have a lot of years in the rodeo industry and living in Wyoming,” she says. “My community ties and ties in the rodeo and ag world will be very beneficial to the fair, and of course, being here as a part of the team for the past few fairs and getting to know the superintendents and volunteers has helped me build connections – my relationship with them is going to be a big benefit.”
Mitchell has been heavily involved with rodeo and agriculture her whole life.
“I was raised on my grandpa’s ranch in Montana, and my mom and stepdad competed in rodeo events and had race horses,” she says. “I mainly ran barrels and did ranch work when I was young.”
Mitchell was part of the National High School Rodeo before attending college at Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington on a full-ride rodeo scholarship. After graduating with a degree in business administration, Mitchell and her husband Robert began raising a family in Douglas where she worked in the school district.
Along with working in the school district, Mitchell produced barrel races and continued competing in pro rodeo events.
She is most proud of the Darleen Swanson Memorial Barrel Race she produced in honor of her late mother. The race has been put on for seven years.
The proceeds from the race fund the Darleen Swanson Memorial Scholarship which is given to a competitor in the race each year.
In 2019, Mitchell came across the opportunity to be a part of the WSF team. For three years, she worked as the exhibit supervisor where she applied her expertise in fair exhibits and rodeo events.
She also has previous experience working as fair secretary for Goshen County. With her skills and passion for rodeo, Mitchell decided the assistant general manager position would be a good fit for her.
“I decided I have a lot to give to the fair and the youth of Wyoming and ag, and I will throw my hat in the ring and see what happens, and I happily accepted the job,” she says.
Mitchell enrolled in the International Association of Fairs and Expositions two-year fair management course in the fall of 2021.
“I enrolled in those courses to better myself in my position,” she says. “I’m a big advocate for continued learning, and I really wanted to learn more about the industry and more about how other fairs do things.”
She hopes to incorporate what she learns from the course to help better the WSF.
“Going through these courses has been a fabulous learning experience,” Mitchell says. “The connections I’m making, the networking and just learning about the fair industry more as a whole has been very beneficial.”
As assistant general manager, Mitchell will undertake a variety of duties including handling sponsorships, contracting, hiring judges and assisting in marketing efforts and year-round interim events. Her goal in the new position is to help showcase youth exhibitors in the WSF.
“I’m really looking forward to helping showcase the youth of Wyoming at the fair,” she says. “Youth in agriculture is our future, and we need to support them anyway we can. We need to show how good it is for kids to be involved in ag and what they are learning by being in 4-H and FFA.
“I want to work hard to celebrate agriculture in Wyoming and watch the WSF grow,” Mitchell adds.
For more information, contact Kris Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 307-358-2398.
Kaitlyn Root is an editor for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to email@example.com.