I've written before on the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, but focused mostly on what you can eat while you're there. So much more goes on at the Rodeo, even if you don't bother to purchase the concert tickets (you must purchase the concert ticket to see the bull riding, bronc busting, and other events typically associated with a rodeo).
First and foremost the show gives city dwellers a chance to connect with where their food comes from. This year there was a new exhibit that showcased the foods that are produced in Texas and highlighted the specialties from each region of this very large state. Most people are aware that beef, grapefruit, and cotton are produced in Texas, but did you know that peanuts and rice also are grown in Texas? And that the state is a major producer of chicken and angora goats. In addition to beef, Texas has a number of successful dairies, and not just with cow's milk, there are goat milk dairies too. Texas is also a leading producer of sorghum, a grain that is often used to make gluten free beer, in addition to cereals and animal feed.
|You simply can't have an ag show without having a chick hatchery.|
|You also must have a milking demonstration at every ag show.|
|The Tour of Texas was new this year. And, yes, Texas is a wine producer.|
|You can also cultivate bees in Texas. Our yard is not ideal for them, however it would be if it was just a little bit larger.|
|This is part of a much larger display explaining how insects and arachnids contribute towards Texas agriculture.|
|Texas has a number of different soil orders. Knowing your soil order will help you select crops that are most likely to succeed on your property.|
|This is the grand champion hog from the show. She sold for more than $200,000 and set a world record.|
|Reserve grand champion goat taking a nap.|
|Reserve grand champion heifer resting.|
|How often do you see a llama dressed as a tractor?|
|Alpacas are just so incredibly cute.|
|Llamas checking out the action in the arena.|
There's also shopping and a bit of an agricultural trade show at the rodeo. Things that I didn't get pictures of include some of the most beautiful horse trailers/RVs I've ever seen, gorgeous farm/ranch gates, and some of the latest farm/ranch technology.
|Shopping. Lots and lots of shopping.|
|John Deere representing. And, no, I didn't see anything similar for Kubota or any other tractor company.|
|Polish food at the Houston Rodeo. At some point I will make it to their restaurant in Houston.|
|So much to choose from.|
|If it can be fried, it will be. I was amused to see one vendor dedicated to the fried pickle.|
|And, yes, they really did have a Texas steak dinner on a stick.|
|The results, as presented by The Lovely Spouse.|
|My favorite place for smoked boudin had a longer than normal line...|
|Turns out they won a well-deserved Gold Buckle Foodie award.|
|More food options indoors, where you can enjoy air conditioning, even if there is no available seating.|
|Really, there is so much STUFF to choose from.|
|And a carnival for kids and kids at heart.|
|Reliant (soon to be NRG) Stadium|
|The Astrodome. The staircases were recently imploded. In the foreground is one of the massive food tents put up only for the Rodeo.|
The Houston Rodeo has finished for this year. This means you have until next March to plan your trip there so you can get your AgNerd on.