Wyoming Steamboat handmade quilt raffle supports UW 4-H and collegiate wool judging programs.

Woman seated in front of quilt
Cowgirl and rancher Mickey Thoman of Sweetwater County outside the wool demonstration building at the Wyoming State Fair and Rodeo in Douglas with the Wyoming 4-H quilt on display. Thoman, inducted into the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2018, and her three daughters raise Rambouillet sheep, Herefords and thoroughbred quarter horses. The quilt raffle is raising money for Wyoming 4-H and collegiate wool programs. Thoman has been part of Wyoming 4-H for more than half a century.

A Wyoming Steamboat handmade quilt is being raffled to help support University of Wyoming 4-H and collegiate wool judging programs.

The quilt is traveling on display around the state. Tickets can be purchased at local UW Extension county offices, from a UW wool judging team member or wool judging 4-H member. Tickets are $20 each or seven for $100. The winning ticket will be drawn in December at the Wyoming Stockgrowers’ conference.

Russell and Kathy Bell of Campbell County hope the handmade quilt helps raise money for Wyoming 4-H and collegiate wool judging programs.

Through conversations with some long-time friends and colleagues, UW Extension sheep specialist Whit Stewart shared with the Bells of Campbell County about cuts made to his program.

Kathy Bell made the quilt.

“Next thing I know we have a beautiful quilt on our hands that’s going to raise money for collegiate and 4-H wool judging programs,” said Stewart. “It sounds cheesy, but I love how that embodies the type of people we get to work with. They identify a challenge, they are partners with us, and they make it happen.”

The Bells have been long-time 4-H supporters in Campbell County, said Johnathan Despain, UW Extension state 4-H program coordinator.

The money will be used to help obtain practice wool for counties throughout the state.

“This will put a boost into making practice wool available to train and to have access to them, so they are not all located in Laramie,” said Despain. “Our extension offices and 4-H volunteers will have access to the practice wool in places around the state to learn, to put workshops on, to teach, to train and compete.”

Long-term, Stewart hopes the money will help organize more clinics so more people can get involved, possibly win prizes and maybe even generate some scholarships to help support student coaches.

“I am excited about the fact that there could be some more resources put in a program that serves a smaller segment of population but important to Wyoming,” said Despain.

Despain and Stewart said they are excited and thankful to work with individuals who would be willing to step up and donate what they can to help the programs.

“Russell and I enjoy the wool program, judging and 4-H,” said Kathy Bell. “We just like to do what we can to help out.”

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