Four States Ag Expo to kick off in Cortez

Skkye Moreno, a senior at Durango High School, plans to show her steer, “Boots,” at the Four States Agricultural Exposition this week at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds. Enlarge photo

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald

Skkye Moreno, a senior at Durango High School, plans to show her steer, “Boots,” at the Four States Agricultural Exposition this week at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds.

The Four States Ag Expo, the latest version of which opens Thursday at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds in Cortez, has been good to Skkye Moreno, who will be showing Boots, a year-old Maine-Anjou cross steer.

Last year, Skkye’s steer, Socks, was the Ag Expo grand champion, which means he was the No. 1 steer overall.

“This will be my fourth year at the Ag Expo,” said Skkye, 18, who’s entering her 11th year in 4-H with the Country Roads 4-H Club. She’s taken steers and sheep to other stock shows – La Plata County Fair, Colorado State Fair, National Western Livestock Show and Arizona National Livestock Show.

Nine-hundred-pound Boots, who gets his name from the four white markings on his lower legs that contrast with his black coat, might come through for Skkye at the Ag Expo. He has the same father as Socks, the reserve champion (second best overall) at the La Plata County Fair last year and third place at the Arizona National Livestock Show the same summer.

In preparation for the Ag Expo, Skkye washes and blow dries Boots’ coat, On hot summer days, she keeps him in the ranch “cool barn” where insulation and fans keep him from overheating.

The Ag Expo advertises itself as the forum for agricultural producers, suppliers and consumers, working through demonstrations, exhibits and clinics.

It’s been held annually since 1982. Information and a schedule of events is found online at

“We bring attention to the latest agricultural machinery and products,” organization president Dusty Beals said. “We have educational seminars, and we bring some of the best-known clinicians here, which this year includes stock dog and horse trainers.

“State Sen. Ellen Roberts, and state Rep. Don Coram, are scheduled to attend,” Beals said. “If there is legislation that affects agriculture we hope they will talk about it.”

The four-day expo features much more than livestock, organizers say. There is something for anyone involved or interested in agriculture.

Among the offerings: instinct test for stock dogs, the origin and uses of fertilizer, grafting and pruning, rangeland forage insurance, cattle vaccination, conservation easements, harness and collar fitting for horses and mules, poultry and egg production, genetically modified seeds and cattle breeding.

Skkye has worked mostly with steers recently, but she also has been a livestock judge for Future Farmers of America in Texas, Arizona, Kansas and Oklahoma as well as Colorado. The assignment requires knowledge of goats, swine, cattle and sheep.

Nor does Skkye limit her interests to agriculture. She’s on the tennis team at Durango High School where she’s a senior.

Life after the stock barn will take her to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater to enroll for a double major – animal science and political science focusing on pre-law studies.

“I want to become an attorney,” Skkye said. “I think I’d like to get into criminal law.”

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