"I love it when a plan comes together."
While the stars sometimes don't align for local promotions, the catch-phrase by from the "A-Team's" Col. John "Hannibal" Smith certainly applies to the McCook Farm & Ranch Expo, gearing up for a return engagement Wednesday and Thursday at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds.
That's so true that the show has expanded to about 350 exhibitors -- 75 more than last year -- in five buildings and the midway at the fairgrounds.
While it is a farm and ranch expo -- with sister events in Kansas and Texas -- there are plenty of attractions no matter what your occupation. They include Scott Daily's horse training demonstration at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Thursday, appearances by professional bull fighter Quirt Hunt and world champion steer wrestler Dean Gorsuch as well as Miss Rodeo Nebraska Sierra Nelson on Wednesday.
The event kicks off with a free producers' breakfast from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Wednesday, and you won't want to miss the High Quality Beef from Gate to Plate Program featuring cooking demonstrations and taste tests using local heifers selected and genetically tested for growth and carcass traits. It's sponsored by Heartland Cattle Co., Willow Creek Meats, the Coppermill Steak House and Certified Angus Beef.
The beer garden will open at noon both days, and a working ranch horse sale and benefit FFA auction is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday.
There's a chance to get your influenza vaccination from the Red Willow County Health Department both days, and drawings will be held for door prizes including Tri City Storm tickets at 3 p.m. Thursday.
High grain prices have led to an unusual period of prosperity for the ag industry, but the ongoing drought and irrigation restrictions in Southwest Nebraska resulting from the Republican River Compact conflict with Kansas make it imperative that farmers and ranchers take advantage of any new technology or techniques that can help them survive and thrive in the coming years.
A trip to the McCook Farm and Ranch Expo is a good start.