Most of the county fairs across Wyoming are reporting an unexpected phenomenon during the current COVID-19 pandemic and economic downtown.
The livestock sales that traditionally close out the fairs are showing better numbers than in years past. Over half of the county fairs, Sheridan’s among them, have reported an increase, while the rest are showing sale numbers similar to, or only slightly lower, than previous years.
The market livestock sale that ended this year’s fair in Sheridan County generated just under half a million dollars. And while 4-H Educator Emily Swinyer couldn’t definitely say that was a record, she said that’s the best she’s seen since she’s been here.
Elsewhere in Wyoming, Albany, Park, Teton and Washakie counties all reported record sales. Teton County reported an almost 20 percent sale increase from last year.
Glenn Owings, Teton County 4-H educator, guessed the reason might be a combination of emotional support for the youth and families in the 4-H and FFA programs and the fair getting more attention than normal because there hasn’t been much else going on this summer.
Bryce McKenzie, 4-H educator in Johnson County, said he was initially worried, but the community showed strong support for the youth during the sale.
In Crook County, too, this year’s livestock sale grossed higher than last year.
Even in Natrona County, which has been hit hard by the decline of oil exploration, drilling and fracking, there was cause for hope. Joddee Jacobsen, 4-H educator there, said the county still had an outstanding sale despite a small decrease.
The Natrona County sale grossed about $878,000, only down about $10,000 from the year before.