Colorado State University’s Department of Animal Sciences Students Give Historical Stock Yard Tours, Timeline Video at National Western

Colorado State University’s Department of Animal Sciences has been a critical element in the National Western Stock Show since the inception of the West’s premier events. In celebration of the 100-year tradition, animal sciences students and faculty are celebrating the NWSS with special tours of the stock yards, which include a video presentation of the history of the yards and the event, including historical film. The video is a student-faculty project that was produced after several months of research into the chronology and history of the stock show.

The tours and multimedia presentations will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 2 p.m. and will be held in the yards on Saturday, Jan. 7 – Sunday, Jan. 8 and Saturday, Jan. 14 – Sunday, Jan. 15. The tours will begin at the historic rail car at the entrance to the yards.

The tours will include students discussing the history of the yards, which have evolved throughout the decades from a market place to a showcase of the West’s finest livestock. The tour will include historical photos, a timeline from the 1920s to today’s stock show and discussion about different livestock breeds. Throughout the last 100 years, livestock from across the nation have been bartered and bought at the National Western. Ranchers travel to the stock show to nose out potential breeding stock for their herds, and the yards are the temporary home to some of the nation’s best breeding stock during the event, providing a superior genetic backbone to today’s ranching industry.

The video presentation includes historical film footage from the 1950s as well as interviews with some of Colorado’s most influential characters at the National Western Stock Show. The 15-minute film features interviews with Ben Houston, former chairman of the National Western Stock Show and a well-known Colorado rancher; Jack Orr, a long-time leader among cattlemen and agricultural business and real estate whose family has a 70-year history with the National Western; Stony Stonaker, a former animal sciences professor who began teaching at Colorado State in 1943 and undertook one of the largest and longest-running projects in history to study cattle inbreeding; Tom Sutherland, former professor at the university’s College of Agricultural Sciences who was held hostage in Lebanon for more than six years while serving as dean of the faculty of Agricultural and Food Science at American University of Beirut; and Colorado State University animal sciences professors David Ames and John Matsushima.

After the tour and presentation, students will be available to answer questions.

Animal sciences students also will have pens of cattle in the yard at the National Western Stock Show. Students from the seedstock team, a student project to raise, market and sell breeding stock to area ranchers, will display a pen of angus and a pen of Hereford bulls during the event. The Angus bulls and Hereford bulls will be in the yard from Jan. 9 to Jan. 14. The pens will be located in pen 1218.