Animals and Agriculture at the Colorado State Fair

Baby pig drinking water out of a bowl during animals and agriculture at the Colorado State FairAnimals and agriculture play a major role in the history of the Colorado State Fair. Before it became the go-to place for fun carnival rides and live music, it was known primarily as a place for animals and agriculture.

Today, people from across Colorado make the journey to Pueblo to watch the impressive animal shows and enter their own animals in the competitions.

In this article, we’ll go over the most popular animal shows and competitions at the Colorado State Fair.

Petting Zoo

Every year, there are a wide variety of animals — from common barnyard animals to exotic foreign critters — that you can get up close and personal with at the Colorado State Fair petting zoo!

Naturally, children are the biggest fans of the petting zoo (although most adults can’t resist the cuteness of the animals too!)

The selection of animals at the petting zoo changes every year, but previous years have included incredible exotic animals such as kangaroos, llamas, camels, and lemurs!

Make sure your phone is charged because you won’t want to miss the awesome photo and selfie opportunities with these remarkable little guys. What better picture to frame in your living room, or to post to social media than a shot of you or your child up next to one of these adorable exotic animals?

A black cow sticks it's tongue out at the Colorado State Fair

Farmer for a Day

An exciting and educational opportunity for children, Farmer for a Day gives children a hands-on experience of what it’s like to work on a farm.

Children get the opportunity to feed the horses, chickens, pigs, goats, etc. They can collect eggs, gather crops, and even milk the cows!

A great way for children to learn about animals and agriculture and discover where their food comes from.

Jr. Livestock Show and Sale

Every year, proud young farmers from around Colorado show off the animals they’ve raised at the Jr. Livestock Show and Sale at the Colorado State Fair. The types of animals at the exhibition include goats, sheep, rabbits, cows, and pigs, among others.

If a buyer is impressed with the animal, they may make a bid to purchase it. This gives young applicants a chance to make good money and learn about the economic side of running a farm.

FFA Heifer Wrangle

The FFA Heifer Wrangle is an exhibition where cows (who were raised by children from around Colorado) are rated by professional judges on the qualities of their size, body composition, appearance, and overall health.

Those with a passion for raising livestock will enjoy seeing the impressive cows that some of the brightest young farmers around Colorado have raised.

Black and white pig hangs out while livestock contestants fist bump at the Colorado State Fair

Catch a Calf

Catch-a-Calf is a long-running tradition where a number of calves are released in a rodeo arena, and a group of children attempt to catch and restrain them.

This is not an easy feat, but the rewards are worth it. The lucky children that manage to catch a calf will get to keep it for a full year, feeding and taking care of it. The following year, the children will be able to enter their animal in a competition and then sell it on the market, keeping the proceeds.

A great opportunity for children who want to learn how to raise, manage, and ultimately sell livestock and gain valuable experience of what it takes to run a successful farm.

Open Livestock Sale

The Colorado State Fair hosts a number of open livestock sales. Unlike most exhibitions, where only animals of known breeding history (where both of their parents are documented) are allowed to compete, the open livestock sale allows anyone to bring undocumented livestock to be evaluated and rated by the judges, and then sold on the market.

This gives farmers the opportunity to enter their animals into the competition even if they don’t have a prior track record. So if you have a cow, goat, pig, or sheep that you believe is competition-worthy, give us a call to learn more and apply for entry in the open livestock sale!

Animal Shows

There are a wide variety of animal shows at the Colorado State Fair, where competitors can show off their animals and compete for prizes while putting on an incredible show for the audience.

Horse and rider jump hurdles at the Colorado State Fair Horse Show

The following are some of the most popular animal shows at the Colorado State Fair:

  •  4-H Horse Show, where competitors guide their horses to perform a wide variety of skills in order to show off their level of training. The best riders have a strong connection and complete control over their horse, which obeys all of their commands. A favorite show among horse lovers!
  • 4-H Dog Show, where dog owners can show off how well-trained and talented their dogs are. Dogs of all shapes and sizes compete in this show, navigating obstacles and performing incredible stunts. A must-see for dog lovers.
  • Exotic Bird Show, where you’ll be able to see a variety of impressive avian creatures, including colorful parrots, parakeets, and many other types of birds compete for beauty and aesthetics.
  • Small Animal Show, where adorable little critters such as rabbits and guinea pigs compete in a “beauty” competition to see which animal is the healthiest and most well-raised.
  • Draft Horse Show, where strong horses (specifically bred for carrying heavy loads) test their strength in a pulling competition. If you want to witness some of the biggest, most impressive, and most muscular horses you’ve ever seen, you’ll love watching these beauties during the show.
  • AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge, which is an event that showcases what goes into working on a ranch. Riders must precisely maneuver around obstacles, accurately guide cattle, and seamlessly navigate around the arena — which makes for an incredible show that displays their impressive riding skills and mastery over their horse.

If You Love Animals, Come Down to the Colorado State Fair!

If you’re an animal lover, farmer, or livestock owner, you’ll love the wide variety of animal and agriculture opportunities at the Colorado State Fair.

Whether you prefer to sit back and watch the impressive talent shows, or if you think you have what it takes to compete in them, you’re guaranteed to have an absolute blast either way!

To learn more about the animal and agriculture opportunities at the Colorado State Fair, give us a call at 719-561-8484 for more information.

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