Community Agriculture Alliance: 1 of the things we do best in Routt County |

Community Agriculture Alliance: 1 of the things we do best in Routt County

Marsha Daughenbaugh/For the Steamboat Today

— Many things might come to mind, but before we were skiing and snowboarding, the residents of this county were producing and selling top-quality cattle. The herds that were raised on our high-meadow pastures gained a reputation as some of the best in the nation, a tradition that continues today.

The Eighth Annual North Western Colorado Bull Sale is at 1 p.m. April 17. Right now is the time to mark your calendars so you will remember to travel to the Routt County Fairgrounds in Hayden for the live auctioneering of 31 young bulls and six heifers from eight consignors. These animals have been bred and raised throughout the Western Slope of Colorado and must pass health and fertility tests to participate in this sale.

Locals Troy Allen and Bill Gay, serving as the auctioneer and commentator, provide lots of excitement by moving the sale in a rhythmic, organized and professional manner. Cattle producers from western Colorado, southern Wyoming and eastern Utah are available to answer questions about the cattle industry. Behind the scenes, you will witness local cattlewomen and cattlemen calmly shift bulls and heifers from pen to pen and through the alleyways, careful to safeguard the health of cattle and people.

The photo opportunities are countless. Cattle producers of all ages and dressed in all types of authentic garb will be grooming animals in preparation for the auction. Each animal is weighed separately, but they are held in metal pens in consignor-owned groupings. Older ranchers sit on tailgates reminiscing about long-ago sales and cattle prices. Toddlers play in the dirt, completely unaware of the history that brings them together. Women stand in clusters telling tales about their experiences with young calves that beat the death odds by being warmed in their kitchens during a very cold night. Consignors and registered buyers cast their votes for the top bull. Everywhere, you can feel the pride of being involved with the cattle industry.

And the lunch — well, you can't beat it. Prepared and served by the Routt County CattleWomen, it will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can count on a good, old-fashioned beef meal served with all the trimmings for a reasonable price.

This event is important to the local cattle industry because it allows a local exchange between livestock buyers and sellers. Everyone has the opportunity to know their neighbors a little better and to celebrate the fact that agriculture is alive and vital in our area. The exceptional feature of this sale is that 100 percent of the auction proceeds are returned to the consignors. It is truly a community experience that represents the best of our agricultural heritage.

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The Community Agriculture Alliance, Routt County Cattle­Women and Routt County Extension Office sponsor the North Western Colorado Bull Sale.

For more information or to order a sales catalog, please call the Community Agriculture Alliance Office at 879-4370.

Marsha Daughenbaugh is the executive director of the Community Agriculture Alliance, sales clerk for the North Western Colorado Bull Sale and member of the Routt County CattleWomen.

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