That's all, folks! Converse County’s Fairadise ‘22 is in the books

Pig Wrestling

Brooke Young Photos
From left, Lexus Single of Glenrock, Kayten Dickau of Douglas, Lainey Single of Glenrock and Sadie Slaymaker of Casper find themselves in a fit of laughter after succeeding the Pig Wrestling challenge. They called themselves The Swine Sisters.

Kelton Stewart, 12, takes down a 500-pound steer during the Chute Dogging competition at Family Fun Night held in Ford Grandstand Arena July 19.

Preston Sorensen, 14, walks his steer in the show ring during the 4-H Beef Showmanship Show at Converse County Fair last week.

Keeley Belanger fights to stay on a bronc after the gate swings open during the Women’s Bronc Riding at Converse County Fair July 21. Belanger has been named one of the rookie competitors of the year. 

Brooke Young

Another successful Converse County Fair has come and gone, allowing youth exhibitors and visitors to find delight in numerous festivities from July 16-24 in Douglas.
From hog “wrassling” to pet/livestock shows, and from an impressive group of women riding broncs to the famously known Heartland Pulling Series Truck and Tractor Pull, this year’s fair calendar was certainly packed full of fun.
July 20 the Ford Grandstand Arena housed Family Fun Night, a night full of rambunctious fun for all ages including mutton bustin’, chute doggin’, and the highly anticipated pig wrestling. 
Pig wrestling lauds teams of four who manage to capture a slippery pig within a mud pit and put it into a barrel bottom-first. 
Although many teams came out to test their pig-catching skills, only one team from each of the three age categories collected the first-place prize. The team to win the pee-wee age group of the pig wrestling competition was Douglas’ the Baconators, with members Casey Veldhuizon, John Veldhuizon, Karly North and Kinzley North. The first-place trophies for the junior age division of the competition went to Isabelle Tomlin, Carly Mares, Elza Moffatt and Kyle Dickau, who called themselves the Hawaiian Roasted Piggies.
Men, women and co-ed teams were grouped together under the same division, with the team, When Pigs Fly, composed of Jon Cozzens, Jason Beddes, Dustin Barnes and Erik Parker securing the number one spot.
Nonetheless, amidst the additional forms of entertainment that visit the fairgrounds every year,  such as Women’s Bronc Riding and concluding with the Ranch Rodeo, 4-H and FFA exhibitors alike were rewarded for their hard work, responsibility and leadership.
Haydan Huyser, 18, had a bittersweet year, earning himself the Reserve Champion Showman title for the FFA division of the Swine Show, leading up to his final days in the show ring at Converse County Fairgrounds. 
“The reason why I would say the youth should get involved in FFA is because it’s a great time to have fun,” Haydan said in regard to the joys of his time spent showing livestock through FFA. “It’s a great time to learn and experience everything, and it’s just a great time to meet new people.”
Through the National FFA Organization, Huyser has established opportunities to show livestock for close to 10 years, proving that agricultural education is available to anyone. 
“I’ve shown sheep and goats in my past years,” he said. “I’ve actually gone to National Western (Stock Show) with a Catch-a-Calf. That was a pretty cool experience.”
The Catch-A-Calf Program is a National Western Stock Show tradition, allowing participants from Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming the opportunity to catch a calf, feed it, and return one calendar year later market-ready.
Jay Meyer of Douglas, 13, who achieved the top spot of the Market Swine Show, Overall Champion Market Swine, is also quite pleased by his accomplishments while attending Converse County Fair. 
“I like that you get to win belt buckles,” he said, regarding his favorite thing about exhibiting as a member of 4-H – although Meyer certainly agrees that  being able to add to his piggy bank at home is a huge perk. 
“And you get to sell your pigs for money,” Meyer said.  
He is a member of Converse County’s Wild Bunch 4-H Club, however, there are a multitude to choose from if you are interested in getting your child involved. Simply visit
Perhaps one of the most thrilling displays of determination seen as fair week wrapped up was that of Keeley Belanger, of Glenrock, during the Women’s Bronc Riding competition Thursday night.
Belanger is a top-notch rookie competitor this year and sent the crowd cheering during her ride. 
Yet again, memories were made, friendships were cultivated, leadership was strengthened and lessons were learned for the youth participants of the annual Converse County Fair.
This event proves each year that the metaphor, “it takes a village to raise a child” holds true. For fair news, or additional information, please visit


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