Media Tipsheet – National Western Stock Show

Note to Editors: The following is a collection of media tips that includes experts and resources at Colorado State University. The media tip sheet is intended to provide resources to reporters and editors and is not intended as contact information for the public.

City-slicker tots get into backstage action at National Western

More than 15,000 Denver Metro elementary students will get to take a trip behind the scenes of the National Western Stock Show. Educational tours hosted by Colorado State University give kids a chance to see bulls, horses, goats and other animals up close and include barn tours and a chance to meet Stock Show clowns. The tours show children what role agriculture plays in their day-to-day lives, such as the food they eat, the products they use and the open landscape of Colorado. Most tours begin at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day, incorporating Stock Show events. The tours, which are held every weekday beginning Monday, Jan. 13 except for Martin Luther King Day, include free Stock Show admission. The tours conclude on Friday, Jan. 24.

To arrange for story information about these tours, contact Mary Pat Adams at (303) 271-6634.

Queries about the following stories should be directed to Dell Rae Moellenberg through the contact information above.

Cowboys and cows struggle with drought

National Western Stock Show embodies the Western way of life. But Colorado has been gripped by drought for several years, and many ranchers are being forced to sell most or all of their herds because there is no grass available for cattle to eat and hay is too expensive. The livestock industry in Colorado is typically a large driving force in the state’s economy, but the drought is reshaping ranches across the state. Colorado State University Cooperative Extension experts can discuss what the drought means for Colorado’s livestock industry.

Kids square off in crowd-favorite Catch-A-Calf contests

A crowd favorite, sponsored by Colorado State Cooperative Extension, is the annual Catch-A-Calf contest, which returns to the NWSS this year. Dating back to 1935, the contest is a favorite not only for crowds but for kids who are selected to participate. A group of enthusiastic 4-H youth and a few calves are turned loose together in a pen. The youth who catch and halter a calf get to take it home as a 4-H project and learn to feed and care for it. They bring it back the next year to compete in a livestock show at the National Western. Those 4-H’ers who are successful in catching a calf maintain contact with contest sponsors and are required to give them updates about the animal, its health and the lessons they’ve learned in caring for the animal daily. The Catch-A-Calf contest teaches youth responsibility, leadership and communication skills.

Colorado State students excel in judging contests

Colorado State University students are cleaning up around the nation in various livestock, horse and meat judging contests. In the last year the teams have won or placed second in seven national competitions. These contests provide the students with an opportunity to practice practical professional skills, build poise and communications skills and develop their leadership abilities. Teams will compete in several National Western Stock Show competitions.

Student club puts business skills to test

A team of 10 animal sciences students at Colorado State University practices business and marketing skills by building a cattle breeding stock business. The group, called the Seedstock Merchandising Team, studies breeding and genetics as well as animal care with a project that involves tracking the bloodlines of about 60 bulls and heifers, caring for the animals, designing a sale catalog, produce newsletters and advertisements, calling previous customers, and promoting and hosting an annual livestock sale at the college campus. As part of the promotion of their breeding stock, the group will bring livestock to show at the National Western Stock Show as well as man a booth about their project on the Stock Show grounds. The sale attracts ranchers from around the West and gives students the opportunity to understand the ins and outs of real business. They meet at 7 a.m. once a week to discuss the business and plan the sale with the supervision of a professor. Students credit the experience with giving them an edge of experience over other college graduates.

Student interns work behind scenes

The National Western Stock Show requires the effort of hundreds of people, and each year students from Colorado State University get excused from their first few classes of the semester to make the show a success. Students from the College of Agriculture work as interns each year in various Stock Show offices including the press room, entry offices, ticket office and human resources office, in turn getting valuable experience and contact with individuals in the industry.