It’s Opening Day at the Red River Valley Fair!

The drought is causing harsh living and working conditions in the western part of the state. KVRR'S Jackie Kelly contributed to this report.

WEST FARGO, ND — The Red River Valley Fair is an exciting summer activity in the metro that brings people from all over the state.

But, the livestock exhibits and different animal shows did not have as large of a turn out this year.

The Red River Valley Fair is back in West Fargo for the season, but the hot weather and lack of water have made it difficult for some farmers and livestock to make it out to the fair.

The drought is causing harsh living and working conditions in the western part of the state.

“A couple weeks ago, we went up there and there’s a crick in there that’s not the main water source,” said Whitney Vogel, who is from Rogers, North Dakota. “Normally, that doesn’t dry up until later on in the summer- early fall and it was already dry a couple weeks ago.”

In order to provide for their livestock, people have been traveling all over the state and the country to haul water to their farms.

With good water comes hay, food and hydration for the animals and the lack of rain has caused some farmers to sell their livestock.

On a normal year, a bale of hay can cost anywhere from $50 to $70, but with the drought happening this year and the high demand of hay, a bale like this can cost up to $200.

What many people don’t realize is in order to have useful hay, enough fresh water is needed.

“For us, to buy hay will probably be a challenge this year just because everybody else needs to buy hay to feed their cows as well,” said Vogel.

Along with the hay comes preserved pastures.

“We’re doing everything we can to hang on to the pastures we got,” said Sydnee Johnson, who is showing her cattle for competition at the fair.

Some families and farm owners who are struggling with the drought conditions weren’t able to make it to the fair.

“There’s less people here,” added Johnson. “That’s kind of how it affects it. Everyone’s off trying to get hay and get stuff done.”

Although it was tough, others pushed to show up.

“It was probably a challenge from them to come just because of everything going on back home as well,” said Vogel. “That’s the nice thing about showing livestock. We kind of all get to know each other and were our own little community. There is a lot of support here as well.”

With conditions like these, they are worried for the future of the animals and the crops.

“They need good water and good food,” added Johnson. “It’s really hard. It affects them a lot.”

Categories: Agriculture, Business, Community, Local News, News Landing Page, North Dakota News