Seed Show Attendance Sees Decrease


March 16, 2022

The 72nd Annual Montana Seed Show is in the books. While attendance was down this year, those who attended and participated expressed a general sense of satisfaction about the event. With multiple exhibits and vendors, the agriculture community was on display at Harlem High School on March 10-12.

In the Cereal Grains, Eric Billmayer from Hogeland won both Best of Show and Overall Champion awards for his hard red spring wheat. And John Schneider captured the Best Overall rosette for his camelina seed.

Among those showing forage exhibits, Fred Miller swept the field with his alfalfa in the adult division, and for the youth, Emma Klingaman took the top prize for her triticale.

In the Youth Educational Display competition, Trent Noel, MSU-Extension Blaine County Family and Consumer Science/4-H Agent, announced the winners. In first place were the Bear Paw Buddies for their display exploring Bovine Tuberculosis. Earning second place, the Blaine County 4-H Cloverbuds recorded the lessons they learned about recycling, reusing, and reducing waste. Finally, for their analysis of various feed rations, the White Pine 4-H Club captured third place by investigating What's in Your Bucket?

Top honors went to the Sweepstakes Winner, Big Flat 4-H for their presentation about the history of the Olympics. Their red, white, and blue display was titled Go for Gold with 4-H. It included a wreath of laurel leaves, the five Olympic rings and their symbolic meaning, the Olympic torch, several medals, and various other artifacts. These were accompanied by explanatory notes so that the observer could learn along with the club.

Regarding quilt and car show results, Barb Sather won the People's Choice Award in the quilts department with a pattern called Eureka. Sather's red, white, and blue quilt saw its beginning in 2009 at a retreat in Kalispell taught by Jackie Robinson. Sather, who credited Carmen Tuma of Cut Bank for the quilting process, completed Eureka in November of 2020.

At the Car Show, Betty Zellmer won the People's Choice car. Keeping the awards in the family, the People's Choice Toy Award went to Darwin Zellmer.

Eureka, a pattern by Jackie Robinson, was used by Barb Sather to create this red, white, and blue quilt which won the People's Choice Award at the Seed Show.

About overall event attendance, Seed Show Superintendent Paul Rasmussen said, "The turn-out wasn't quite what we were hoping for, but considering we were coming back from a year off and with both basketball teams from Harlem, Havre, and Malta-along with Glasgow and Shelby making it all the way to state, those circumstances pulled a number of parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles out of the area. I wouldn't say it was a failure, but I think we wouldn't want many more years like this one."

Rasmussen added, "The debacle that we ran into this year by trying to work with our local clinic didn't help out the show either. One Health pulled their Health Fair event on March 7 after learning that due to Covid, the Billings Clinic, who was scheduled to process the labs from the health fair, backed out altogether. This was very unfortunate, and I apologized to everyone who had planned on attending the Health Fair, but we had no other alternative but to cancel that event."

While the Seed Show, sparsely attended or not, involves considerable planning, juggling, and orchestration, Rasmussen still considers it a worthwhile investment that provides new insight every year. "I heard from several folks that the afternoon awards and auction on Saturday wasn't a terrible idea. Maybe that's something to keep," he commented.


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