As with many families, the National Western Stock Show has played a big part of Judie and John Heimer’s lives. Their passion for the Stock Show began with their oldest daughter going to the Stock Show with her grandfather and returning home with a bag full of brochures, goodies, and a strong love for animals – especially horses. That resulted in the Hiemers getting a horse, and then learning all the responsibilities that came along with it. The best thing about the horse was that they always knew where their daughter was. She never showed at Stock Show, but was an avid horse auction attendee and actually purchased an Appaloosa from one of the sales.
John grew up on a farm in eastern Nebraska, and life included tending to the cow/calf herd; feeding the cattle, hogs, and chickens; growing crops; and garnering the work ethic that would carry him through life. John sensed that too few people thought food came from King Soopers, where Judie spent her career.
“It amazes me how so many people have no clue where our food comes from,” John said. “That is all the more reason why the Stock Show is so important to not only Denver, but also to the nation and the world.”
His desire to make clear the origins of our collective nourishment have driven John to volunteer in elementary schools by reading to them and sharing stories about his rural upbringing. Students are fascinated to find out that the food chain doesn’t start and end in the grocery store. He talks about all of the producers, processors, and distribution centers that handle food before it reaches the consumer and is always surprised at how amazed the children are.
Today, John and Judie are proud to say that their family has three generations volunteering at National Western Stock Show. They hope to continue the traditions of NWSS and pass on the knowledge to younger generations to stoke excitement for agriculture and support for the industry. As we all know, farmers and ranchers are aging out, and we need the youth and future generation to step up and produce the food that the world needs.
John and Judie have supported National Western Stock Show in many ways, and we are grateful for their passion and dedication to our mission.