60th Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo underway in Rapid City
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — The Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo is underway for its 60th year in Rapid City.
Only three breeds of cattle were shown at the city’s first stock show. Now, the major event welcomes thousands of visitors and millions of dollars during the middle of winter, an off-season for tourism in western South Dakota.
Gregg Butman has been helping his family showcase champion cattle from their Cottonwood Angus Farms near the South Dakota-Minnesota border since the mid-1960s, the Rapid City Journal reported . Butman said he was recognized as Stockman of the Year in 1997, and his cattle have won several of the event’s titles.
“I’ve enjoyed it all these years or I wouldn’t be coming back,” said Butman.
Butman recalled that cattle grooming required hard work in the early days.
“Back then we didn’t have the blowers to dry,” he said. “It took 3-4 hours to brush them out and get them dry.”
There was also only one building with heat during those first stock shows, according to Butman.
Now, the event fills the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and surrounding area.
“Now that we have the capabilities of expansion beyond the civic center, it brings a huge draw into the community and the livestock world,” said Dick Bray, an organizer of the event.
Butman said the stock show brings rural and city residents together to increase awareness over how farms produce quality, safe beef.
“It brings the city folk and the agricultural people together to let them know what we’re doing and how we treat animals and take care of them,” he said.
Butman said the event also preserves Western lifestyle.
This year’s show began Jan. 17 and will continue through Feb. 4.
Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com