Broadwater Co. Fair provides a break from the busy summer season | TSLN.com

Broadwater Co. Fair provides a break from the busy summer season

Bill Brewster

Photo by Bill BrewsterAbby Leachman of Toston, MT, showed the Grand and Reserve Champion Market Swine at the Broadwater County Fair.

Like the recent Broadwater Co. Fair and Rodeo in Montana, fairs, 4-H market shows and sales across the western states serve as a summer highlight for farm and ranch families in the midst of haying and the harvest.

This popular event in the county seat of Townsend, MT, recently showcased a year’s worth of project work for several dozen youngsters with livestock and small animal projects that ranged from geese, rabbits and chickens to the traditional steers, breeding beef projects, hogs and lambs.

At the Saturday morning Round Robin Showmanship contest and the evening buyer barbecue and sale, ranch families and the businesses showed up to support youth.

John Rauser, chairman of the Broadwater Co. Fair Board for more than six years, has been a participant, leader and observer of this fair since he was a young person growing up on a ranch in nearby Toston, MT. He has been a livestock and club leader for the last 14 years. Rauser’s wife, Missy is also on the fair board and has served as a livestock leader. Two of their three daughters, Samantha and Michelle, advanced through the 4-H program while in high school. A third daughter, Maggie, has three more years of 4-H eligibility.

In the process, Rauser has seen many young people realize the importance of animal and crop agriculture and how it helps feed the world. Rauser’s involvement goes deeper than just his county fair involvement, he is also a pork producer and serves as a loan officer at the State Bank of Townsend.

“Fairs like the one here in Broadwater represent what is great about our agricultural and ranching heritage in Montana,” Rauser said. “And it has always been the highlight of the year for the kids in 4-H. For one who grew up in the county, it has always been a great time to not only enjoy the livestock end of the fair but to also experience what Broadwater County is all about and visit with neighbors.”

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Broadwater’s first market stock show was held in the 1960s and at the time, animals were exhibited on the high school football field, according to Rauser.

Prior to that date, Broadwater 4-H kids traveled to Butte, MT, in the 1950s to show their animals, Rauser said.

From his nine-year involvement as a 4-Her, Rauser said the only opportunity he had to go to town was during the fair.

Today, Rauser said, a lot of kids who are in 4-H today in the county live closer to cities like Helena in Lewis and Clark County and Three Forks in Gallatin County and actually don’t live in a rural setting or have an ag background.

“We try to teach these kids how to raise an animal and exhibit it correctly,” Rauser said.

As a leaders, both John and Missy, encourage kids to start with pigs or lambs first because the project year begins in the spring and is less intense than working with a steer which requires feeding it for almost a year before it sells.

“As a pork producer, I try to stress the fact that it takes a lot of detail and time to take care of animals on a year-round basis,” he added.

Once they have the initial background many of youth move on to showing market steers and beef breeding stock.

As many 4-H leaders know, selling 4-H market stock provides young people seed money for college and teaches them how to spend wisely. The lesson is a valuable part of Montana’s agricultural heritage.

Like the recent Broadwater Co. Fair and Rodeo in Montana, fairs, 4-H market shows and sales across the western states serve as a summer highlight for farm and ranch families in the midst of haying and the harvest.

This popular event in the county seat of Townsend, MT, recently showcased a year’s worth of project work for several dozen youngsters with livestock and small animal projects that ranged from geese, rabbits and chickens to the traditional steers, breeding beef projects, hogs and lambs.

At the Saturday morning Round Robin Showmanship contest and the evening buyer barbecue and sale, ranch families and the businesses showed up to support youth.

John Rauser, chairman of the Broadwater Co. Fair Board for more than six years, has been a participant, leader and observer of this fair since he was a young person growing up on a ranch in nearby Toston, MT. He has been a livestock and club leader for the last 14 years. Rauser’s wife, Missy is also on the fair board and has served as a livestock leader. Two of their three daughters, Samantha and Michelle, advanced through the 4-H program while in high school. A third daughter, Maggie, has three more years of 4-H eligibility.

In the process, Rauser has seen many young people realize the importance of animal and crop agriculture and how it helps feed the world. Rauser’s involvement goes deeper than just his county fair involvement, he is also a pork producer and serves as a loan officer at the State Bank of Townsend.

“Fairs like the one here in Broadwater represent what is great about our agricultural and ranching heritage in Montana,” Rauser said. “And it has always been the highlight of the year for the kids in 4-H. For one who grew up in the county, it has always been a great time to not only enjoy the livestock end of the fair but to also experience what Broadwater County is all about and visit with neighbors.”

Broadwater’s first market stock show was held in the 1960s and at the time, animals were exhibited on the high school football field, according to Rauser.

Prior to that date, Broadwater 4-H kids traveled to Butte, MT, in the 1950s to show their animals, Rauser said.

From his nine-year involvement as a 4-Her, Rauser said the only opportunity he had to go to town was during the fair.

Today, Rauser said, a lot of kids who are in 4-H today in the county live closer to cities like Helena in Lewis and Clark County and Three Forks in Gallatin County and actually don’t live in a rural setting or have an ag background.

“We try to teach these kids how to raise an animal and exhibit it correctly,” Rauser said.

As a leaders, both John and Missy, encourage kids to start with pigs or lambs first because the project year begins in the spring and is less intense than working with a steer which requires feeding it for almost a year before it sells.

“As a pork producer, I try to stress the fact that it takes a lot of detail and time to take care of animals on a year-round basis,” he added.

Once they have the initial background many of youth move on to showing market steers and beef breeding stock.

As many 4-H leaders know, selling 4-H market stock provides young people seed money for college and teaches them how to spend wisely. The lesson is a valuable part of Montana’s agricultural heritage.

Like the recent Broadwater Co. Fair and Rodeo in Montana, fairs, 4-H market shows and sales across the western states serve as a summer highlight for farm and ranch families in the midst of haying and the harvest.

This popular event in the county seat of Townsend, MT, recently showcased a year’s worth of project work for several dozen youngsters with livestock and small animal projects that ranged from geese, rabbits and chickens to the traditional steers, breeding beef projects, hogs and lambs.

At the Saturday morning Round Robin Showmanship contest and the evening buyer barbecue and sale, ranch families and the businesses showed up to support youth.

John Rauser, chairman of the Broadwater Co. Fair Board for more than six years, has been a participant, leader and observer of this fair since he was a young person growing up on a ranch in nearby Toston, MT. He has been a livestock and club leader for the last 14 years. Rauser’s wife, Missy is also on the fair board and has served as a livestock leader. Two of their three daughters, Samantha and Michelle, advanced through the 4-H program while in high school. A third daughter, Maggie, has three more years of 4-H eligibility.

In the process, Rauser has seen many young people realize the importance of animal and crop agriculture and how it helps feed the world. Rauser’s involvement goes deeper than just his county fair involvement, he is also a pork producer and serves as a loan officer at the State Bank of Townsend.

“Fairs like the one here in Broadwater represent what is great about our agricultural and ranching heritage in Montana,” Rauser said. “And it has always been the highlight of the year for the kids in 4-H. For one who grew up in the county, it has always been a great time to not only enjoy the livestock end of the fair but to also experience what Broadwater County is all about and visit with neighbors.”

Broadwater’s first market stock show was held in the 1960s and at the time, animals were exhibited on the high school football field, according to Rauser.

Prior to that date, Broadwater 4-H kids traveled to Butte, MT, in the 1950s to show their animals, Rauser said.

From his nine-year involvement as a 4-Her, Rauser said the only opportunity he had to go to town was during the fair.

Today, Rauser said, a lot of kids who are in 4-H today in the county live closer to cities like Helena in Lewis and Clark County and Three Forks in Gallatin County and actually don’t live in a rural setting or have an ag background.

“We try to teach these kids how to raise an animal and exhibit it correctly,” Rauser said.

As a leaders, both John and Missy, encourage kids to start with pigs or lambs first because the project year begins in the spring and is less intense than working with a steer which requires feeding it for almost a year before it sells.

“As a pork producer, I try to stress the fact that it takes a lot of detail and time to take care of animals on a year-round basis,” he added.

Once they have the initial background many of youth move on to showing market steers and beef breeding stock.

As many 4-H leaders know, selling 4-H market stock provides young people seed money for college and teaches them how to spend wisely. The lesson is a valuable part of Montana’s agricultural heritage.

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