A Family Affair

The typical Wyoming ranch is a family affair. It’s survival depends on all family members uniting for the common cause of making a living off the land. Preceding generations pass to their descendants the love and respect for the land and the care of the animals stocked on that land to harvest the grass.

Youngsters at the Platte County Fair in Wyoming practice "milking" a cow. County Fairs are great places to learn and show off skills related to agriculture.

Intermingled with the hard work, families also find the time to play together. The highlight of the year is the local county fair where 4-H and FFA members show the results of their annual labors. This usually takes place in July and early August.

Cattle are washed, their hair trimmed, blown dry and brushed (called "fitting" in the show world) in order to put on best appearances for judges at the local County Fair.

Activities for kids as young as 3-years-old are planned as a precursor to the big show ring.

This little Platte County tyke answers questions regarding agriculture products at the County Fair.

Motherless bottle calves are shown by their little caretakers who have had the responsibility of feeding them twice daily. If a child doesn’t have access to a big critter, the Pet Show allows him a place to participate. PeeWee Rodeos mimic some of the events of the real thing from the backs of snortin’ stick horses. At the sidelines, the entire family is cheering for the youngest members instilling in them a sense of value and worth that remains with them to adulthood.

"Bottle calves" are calves that were orphaned or refused by their mothers, leaving it up to the ranchers to feed (often with a bottle) and care for. Youngsters can bring these bottle calves to the local county fair to show.

A ranch is a wonderful place to grow up!

From RealRancher Donita Graves, Wheatland, Wyo.

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