Column for The Sheridan Press
With over 30 million acres of farm and ranch land and over half of the state’s total land publicly owned, agriculture, natural resources and public lands are a major component of Wyoming’s economy.
In Sheridan County, the Chamber recognizes the tremendous importance of these areas. The members of our Ag and Natural Resources Committee make it their mission to promote and support agriculture, natural resources and public lands in our community.
The committee works to create a better understanding and appreciation of agriculture, natural resources and public lands within our community though programs of civic, social and cultural nature, as well as acts as a liaison between the business community and the board of directors in legislative and political affairs concerning agriculture, natural resources, and public lands and promotes collaboration to increase the awareness and understanding of agriculture, natural resources and public lands in our community.
Throughout the year, the Ag and Natural Resources Committee keeps abreast of what’s happening in these fields through a variety of tours and presentations. These have included a tour of Sheridan College’s Mars Agricultural Center and updates on the agriculture programs at the college, an invasive grasses tour and presentation, a federal grazing permits presentation and information about the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust.
In 2019, the Ag and Natural Resources Committee assisted Sheridan College with its Border Wars and held its second Youth Business Ventures Competition, awarding seed money to two local youth entrepreneurs starting or growing agricultural or natural resources-related businesses.
Coming up in August, the committee will partner with the Sheridan County Cattlewomen to host the 4-H/FFA Buyers’ Reception. Proceeds from the beer garden at the event are used in part to fund the Youth Business Ventures Competition and to assist with promotion of the Sheridan County Fair.
Leading the committee this year are Clarke McClung, chair; Dana Pearce, vice chair; and Carrie Rogaczewski, secretary. We appreciate the tremendous work of our leaders and all who volunteer on this committee. If you are interested in participating on the Ag and Natural Resources Committee, please call the Chamber at 307-672-2485.
Also coming up in August is the Fremont Toyota Suds n’ Spurs Brewfest Aug. 24, from 2-7 p.m. at Whitney Commons Park. This event is the Chamber’s major fundraiser and a great community event. Last year we had nearly 25 professional craft brewers with more than 75 craft brews for sampling. Attendees can vote for the People’s Choice Tom Balding Spur Award, and we’ll also have food vendors and live music. Back by popular demand to headline our musical entertainment is John Roberts y Pan Blanco. Our opening entertainment will be provided by local favorite The Nate Champion Band.
Tickets for the Brewfest are available for $35. Get yours at the Chamber office, 24 S. Main St.; Black Tooth Brewing Company, 312 Broadway St.; Cottonwood Kitchen + Home, 234 N. Main St., or online at www.sheridanwyomingchamber.org or through the “Suds n’ Spurs Brewfest” page on Facebook. We hope to see you there.
Dixie Johnson is CEO of the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce.