Thursday, 12 January 2012

National Western Stock Show

So I am headed to the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) in Denver, CO in exactly one week! I am beyond excited to see everything. So I thought I would read up on one of the largest Stock shows in North America, and what started it all.

It all started in 1899, with some informal livestock shows hosted in Denver, on an irregular basis. Finally in 1905, a group of interested stakeholders met in December. The site of the Stockyards was choosen, which was kept until 2001.

The very first organized show was held on January 29, 1906 and ran for 6 days. The first General Manager was chosen as Harry Petrie. There was an estimated 15,000 spectators for this beginning year.

The 1906 Grand Champion steer sold for 33 cents per pound, which was a whopping 23 cents over the current market price. Things started out very strong for the very first NWSS.

March 1906, the not for profit organization was officially incorporated.

The Horse Division was added in 1907, and in 1909 Aberdeen Angus, Hereford and Shorthorn breeds were added to the program.

1909 was the first year they charged admission, which was a quarter. (I WISH!)

Finally in 1911they built the two and three story barns, as well as a club building. The program also expanded this year, to include poultry and beef carcass classes.

In 1915, the show had to be canceled due to the Foot and Mouth disease epidemic, which did not allow livestock to cross state lines. This was the only year in the shows 106 year history it was cancelled.

A program for admiting school children to the show was established in 1922.

The show started to feel the effects of the Great Depression in 1926, and lasted until 1933.

Rodeo was introduced into the shows program in 1932, as a part of the 25th anniversary celebration, which also included building the Lamont Pavillion.

The 1935 show added the first Cath-a-Calf contest and included girls in 1974, and in 1941 the Grand Champion steer was shown by a 12 year old, Kenny Monfort!

The show was forced to be confined to local participation due to the repercussions of World War II. In 1952, the ground expanded to include the Denver Coliseum.

The 60s was a great year for adding to the show program, to include Appaloosa, Paint and Pinto classes, as well as a Charolais cattle class.

1972 was a difficult year for show officials. Their Grand Champion Steer was deemed to be ineligible, s it was entered at the American Royal show as a white steerm and was dyed black for the NWSS.

The 80s ws also a huge year for the show, as 1980 helped expand the show to include Bison, and was the year the National Western Scholarship Fund was added. 1987 opened the International Center, and registered over 600 guests. 1988 was a record year of attendance, to include over half a million people.

In 1996 the 90th Western Stock SHow expanded to 16 days with 23 rodeo performances, 11 Hrose shows and 2 Mexican rodeos.

The Pro Rodeo Cowboy's Association named the National Western as the worlds #1 indoor Rodeo in 1997.

Coming into the digital age, the show went online at in 1998.

The new millennium was an opening year for dairy cow milking competition, wild horse races, and a stick horse rodeo for kids.

An all new Western Heritage Week took place in the stockyards in 2009 including the first annual Stockdog sale, All Breeds Bull Sale and a Celebrity Chuck Wagon Cook-off.

Despite the severe cold and snow, last year during the first week of the show alone, attendance hit over 600,000 people!

I am beyond excited to be heading to Denver for a short 5 days, but I can not wait to share this experience with my college family.

Monday, 9 January 2012

The Green Revolution

When I was sitting in my facilities class, we were talking about the history of agriculture. My professor started telling us about the Green Revolution, and it sparked my interest. I had never heard of it, so I started doing a little research, and I thought I would share with my readers.

What is the Green Revolution?

The Green Revolution refers to the research, development and technology initiatives occurring between the 1940s and 1970s. This period increased the agriculture production around the entire world. 

How did it get its name?

The term was used first by former USAID director William Gaud when he commented,

"Thse and other developments in the field of agriculture contain the makings of a new revoloution, It is not a violent Red Revolution like that of the Soviets, nor the White Revolution lliek that of the Shah Iran. I call it the Green Revolution."

Some History

It all began in Mexico by Norman Borlaug, in the 1940s, and had been depicted as a huge success, and many other nations sought for it. 

In 1961 India was on the brink of a mass famine. They introduced Borlaug's ideas into the Punjab region because of their reliable water supply and known agricultural success.

In the 1960s it spread to the Phillippines, and later to Africa. However, most agricultural programs introduced into Africa have not been successful due to the geographical influences of the region.


Sometime in the 70s, there was a proposed worldwide netowrk of ag research centers. The World Bank created the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.

Benefits of the Green Revolution

The Green revolution helped with the wide spread of agricultural technologies, like irrigation systems, pesticides and fertilizers.

It also helped with production increases in the developing nations with these technologies.


Many people have criticized the Green Revolution for its effect on bio security and diets.

The spread of the technology helped with the spread of food treatments and food processing. Many people have said that the use of technologies, such as pesticides and treatments to keep food fresh, has lead to many diseases. As well, environmental groups have had their say in how the Green Revolution has impacted the environment, for the worse.

My Opinion

Global warming and cancer have a lot more precursors then pesticide use and other agricultural technologies, such as fuel emissions and other types of chemical use. I think the Green Revolution has given us a lot of things, and it has helped developing countries be able to feed their citizens. Anything that will help feed the people of the world for years to come is alright in my books.