Sunday, March 11, 2012

ND Winter Show

This past week was the North Dakota Winter Show in Valley City, North Dakota.  It is the oldest and longest running agriculture show in the state, and this year was celebrating its 75th anniversary.

Something unique to the Winter Show is that the Event Center is the largest steel span building of it’s kind in the world (according to Travis…I was unable to confirm this statistic on the internet).  It is a very large building, and the photos really don’t capture it.

Travis and his family attended the show every year when he was growing up.  In addition to being an event for professional farmers and ranchers, it is heavily participated by 4H youth in various agricultural events.  Travis would show cattle and compete in crop judging.  His team from our local town won the state title at the Winter Show when he was in 8th grade.

What’s that?  What is Crop Judging?  I like to think of it as Jeopardy for plants, but a better explanation can be found on the NDSU website, “Crop judging participants evaluate crops for seed and factors affecting market quality, and identify crop and weed seeds and plants.”  Like I said, Jeopardy for plants.

Anyway, Travis had not attended the Winter Show in at least 10 years, so he was quite excited to go.  I was kind of excited too; knowing that this show is more cattle-oriented than Big Iron, I was looking forward to seeing some roughneck cowboys and blinged-out cowgirls.  And Charlie wanted to see some cows.  Levi didn’t say much other than having a really concerned look on his face…maybe it was the bone-chilling wind that day.

Once we entered the building we were greeted by this great sign:

I want a smaller version for our dining room.

It must have been the day/time we attended, but there were not really many animals to see.

We saw around ten cattle and a handful of horses.

We could have stayed to see Craig Morgan, but I’m not sure what the sound quality is in a massive steel building.  I really do need to brush up on my country music now that I am back in an area that has more than one good radio station.

My favorite part of the show was the 4H Critter Corral.  It is really meant for kids, but I was way more excited to see the animals than any of the kids present at the time (my own included).

There was a little llama.

An alpaca who didn’t want to be bothered.

Miniature horses and donkeys.

A horse wearing sunglasses (really bummed that this turned out blurry).

A lamb that was separated from his mama yesterday (tear).

Goats that should have been wearing bells (it is just the way it is supposed to be).


Guinea Hens (also known as "exotic chickens" in my book...thanks Dad for the correction).

And many, many rabbits…you know how they like to breed.

This red-eyed one really freaks me out.

And this one is wearing too much eye-liner.

But this one looks really cute and cuddly.

Overall, we were mildly disappointed with the turnout at the ND Winter Show.  Next year I think we need to attend on a different day, and see a rodeo.  I need to fill my void of witnessing roughneck cowboys and blinged-out cowgirls in their element.

The saving grace of the entire day was a local treat known as Pizza Corner.  It is a restaurant in Valley City and also a frozen pizza manufacturer.  You can find the pizzas at many bars and gas stations in the region.  Although, in my opinion they are no Pizza Ranch, they do have their own distinct flavor that brings me back to my college days.

You find these trucks parked all over town.

We stopped at a service station, Brothers III, where Travis’s family would pick up pizzas every year with the Winter Show Pizza Corner special.

We ate one last night and were not disappointed.


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