Hay Auction fun for everyone

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Visitors will find more than hay at Saturday's third annual Hay Auction at the base of the ski area.

The hay auction will be held in conjunction with the Ranch Rendezvous. Routt County ranchers will give demonstrations on everything from roping cattle to making soap.

Sponsored by the Community Agriculture Alliance and Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., the event is intended to attract the ranching community and those who are interested in it.

"It's a good opportunity to get out and visit with people connected to agriculture," said Community Agriculture Alliance Executive Director Marsha Daughenbaugh.

The Ranch Rendezvous, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, will have a petting zoo with miniature, regular and draft horses. It also will have a dairy cow, camels, llamas, yaks, chickens and rabbits. All the animals come from area ranches, Daughenbaugh said.

The event also will have demonstrations of cattle roping, branding, soap making, horse shoeing, quilt making, horsehair braiding and weaving. Steamboat rancher Jo Stanko will give talks on cowboy clothing, and an authentic chuck wagon will be on scene selling meat and giving away samples.

The Community Agriculture Alliance put on the Ranch Rendezvous two years ago but held it earlier in the summer. This year, the group decided to bring it back and pair it with the hay auction and Ski Corp's Art on the Mountain, Daughenbaugh said.

Area ranchers will man all the demonstrations, Daughenbaugh said.

"They are ready and willing to talk about why they are in agriculture and why they stay in the valley," Daughenbaugh said.

The Ranch Rendezvous also will have a barbecue, a tent for children to do crafts and a play area with toys. The Routt County Sheriff's Office will have a booth about its new Ranch Watch program.

The hay auction will start at 2 p.m. with three producers bringing in hay. The auction will have less hay than in previous years, Daughenbaugh said, because of the good hay crop area ranches have had.

If buyers need more hay, Daughenbaugh said, they could make arrangements to purchase it from the producers at the auction.

"It is all good quality hay from Routt County," Daughenbaugh said.

Daughenbaugh said she couldn't guess at what prices the hay will sell for and noted that estimates have ranged from $55 a ton to $125 a ton.

The hay will be on site for viewing from 11 a.m. until the auction.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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