VALLEY CITY, ND – Agriculture has always played a major role at the North Dakota Winter Show. This Valley City ag show has the distinction of being the longest running ag show in the region and will celebrating their 82nd edition this year.
This year’s show has been shortened up by two days and is now back to a six-day show, which was requested by the show’s vendors, visitors and exhibitors, according to Kelcey Hoffman, North Dakota Winter Show manager.
“In the past it was been over two weekends and it is tough for our exhibitors to be here for that entire time,” Hoffmann said. “Even though it is a six-day schedule, it is still jam packed and is going to be a lot of fun.”
A couple new events have been added to the schedule this year, Mounted Shooting, which will be explained later in this article, and a Cowboy Church Service on Sunday, March 10.
“We had several tell us they would like to see a Sunday church service, so we decided to give it a try,” she said. “There will be a local musician who will be in charge of the music and some local pastors who will be helping with the service and we invite the public out to join us for this church service.”
Ag Challenge-The South Exhibit Building (SEB) will be home to the Ag Challenge on March 5-8 of the Winter Show. The commercial exhibit area of the building will contain a wide array of farm equipment, goods and services that are directly related to farming and ranching.
There is also an area of the building that will be setup for seminars. This zone, the AgCountry Stage, will feature a wide variety of agricultural topics during the final three-day period of the Ag Challenge, with each day highlighting a certain portion of the ag industry.
Tuesday, March 5:
10:00 The exhibits in the Ag Challenge of the SEB will open at 10 a.m.
The first ag education session will start at 10:30 a.m. on the AgCountry Stage in the SEB, with Joe Ikley, NDSU Extension weed specialist, and his topic – “Palmer Amaranth 101.” This will be followed at 11:30 a.m. with “Hoof Beats with Lori – Cognitive Communications with Horses: the Ground Work 101.”
Two ag educations sessions are scheduled for the afternoon. At 1:30 p.m. the North Dakota Livestock Alliance will feature a panel discussion on “Turning Livestock Development Concepts into Reality.” That same group will hold another panel discussion an hour later on “Financial Incentives for North Dakota’s Livestock Industry.”
From 4 to 6 p.m. the SEB will be the site for the Valley City Chamber Ag Social. A ticket is required to attend this event and the program includes the induction ceremony for the North Dakota Ag Hall of Fame, and recognition of the State Crop Show Honoree and Rutledge Kane Award recipient. More information on the Hall of Fame Inductees and the State Crop Show Honoree is included in this Special Section and the Rutledge Kane Award winner is determined during the crop show judging.
Entertainment for the day in the MEB Main Arena is the tractor pull, which starts at noon and the pickup pull begins at 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 6:
Exhibits again open at 10 a.m. and stay open until 7 p.m.
Seminars on the AgCounty stage today include fishing guide Cody Roswick from the Fin-Guide Service at 10:30 a.m. followed by the second session in the “Hoof Beats with Lori – Cognitive Communications with Horses: the First Ride” at 11:30 a.m.
The Classic Steer Show will be held in the WA of the MEB at 2 p.m., followed by the Market Hog Show at 3 p.m.
Friends of the Winter Show will gather for a social at the Eagles from 5 to 7 p.m. and the Classic Steer/Market Hog Auction will begin in the lower level of the Eagles Lodge.
Evening activities in the Main Arena will be Mounted Shooting, a new event this year. This is a competitive equestrian event where a horse mounted contestant negotiates a shooting pattern and hit several targets within the pattern.
“It is kind of like re-enacting the Old West shows that happened during the late 19th century,” Hoffmann said. “There is a Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association and they have several events during the summer months around the area and this year we would have just one Ranch Rodeo and get a different event in and this is what we decided on.”
Thursday, March 7:
Exhibits will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Ag entertainment in the form of horse activities get underway at 10 a.m. with the Pony Pull in the MA.
The first ag education session on the AgCountry stage in the SEB begins at 10:30 a.m. and will feature NDSU Extension agent Randy Grueneich discussing land rent values. Then, at 11:30 a.m. there will be another Hoof Beats with Lori, and this time the topic will be “How Horses Heal - Equine Assisted Psycho Therapy.”
At noon, the Draft Horse Pulling contest will be held in the MA, followed at 2:30 p.m. by horse team events featuring the obstacle course, log skidding and barrel pattern.
The horse events concluded at 6:30 p.m. with a Ranch Rodeo in the MA.
PRCA Rodeo – The PRCA Rodeo has been a feature of the North Dakota Winter Show since 1963 and has consistently brought the best in livestock and rodeo contestants to the Valley City area.
“This year’s stock contractor is Bailey Pro Rodeo out of Baldwin, N.D.,” Hoffmann noted. “They are a local contractor so there are a lot of individuals from this local area that participate in that. They are a PRCA rodeo contractor and they have had rodeo stock down at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas and they will attract some of the top riders in the PRCA to the Winter Show rodeo.”
Others taking part in the rodeo this year include bull fighters Kaleb Barrett from Lolo, Mont. and Justin Ward of Richardton, N.D.; the announcer is Racer Botkin from Big Sandy, Texas; and the barrel man/clown is Denny Halstead from DeWinton, Alberta.
Three PRCA performances are scheduled – two on Saturday, March 9, at 2 and 7 p.m. and the last rodeo on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Youth Education – “We are expanding the youth education part of the Winter Show this year,” Hoffmann said. “We are inviting the youth to come out and get a hands-on experience of the ag industry and check out ag careers by visiting with individuals in the South Exhibit Building during the Ag Challenge.”
In addition, the special Youth Education program on Friday will have a focus on farm safety, she noted.
The final day of the show, March 10, will also have the Junior Cattle Show, with activity starting at 8 in the morning.