Montana’s Most Famous Cowgirl Appeals for Fairgrounds Levy
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The iconic 90-year-old Ramona Holt, known as ‘Montana’s Most Famous Cowgirl’, appeared on the KGVO Talk Back show on Monday to advocate for the fairgrounds levy on the general election ballot.
A Respected Horsewoman Appeals for the Fairgrounds Levy
Holt appeared with Clarence Wildeboer, a member of the Missoula Ice Board, since the levy would benefit the 4-H, FFA, and the thousands of people who use the present and very overcrowded Glacier Ice Rink.
Holt began with a brief history of the Missoula County Fairgrounds, a history she has seen up close and personal.
“Most of the fairgrounds burned in 1941,” began Holt. “The commercial building was saved. And so since then, most of the buildings have been built to be temporary, however, they became permanent. But now we have the opportunity to bring that fairgrounds back to snuff. And we have a great start with all that we have done to date.”
Ramona Holt issued a Persuasive Argument for the Levy
Holt explained what the Fairgrounds levy would provide.
“This bond issue will allow us to build an area for the 4-H, the FFA the ag(riculture) community where that industry has been so important in building Western Montana,” she said. “The 4-H and FFA and the agriculture community will have a building where they can educate the children on the different facets of ag. We can recreate we could have functions in there that will bring the community together, and that's what we're supposed to do.”
Wildeboer described what would happen if the $19 million bond issue failed to pass in the November election.
“But what if it doesn't happen?” Wildeboer asked. “We don't grow our programs. So we're kept artificially at 400 kids that can participate in 4-H. With new facilities, we can double that. But today we're really stuck because its basements and garages and backyards where we're limited and it's one week of the fair and the facility in a shared building with ice. The same goes for the ice community. So our figure skaters who compete in fall competitions have no place to do their summer practice because the ice is out and the cattle are in.”
What? Bozeman Passed its Ice Expansion Levy?
Wildeboer referenced the fact that voters in Bozeman approved the expansion of their ice center this summer and Missoula skaters have to travel there to practice.
"Bozeman put in summer ice this year and kept year-round ice and we had a whole healthy community of Missoulians traveling to that other town in our state, a well-respected town where a couple of my children live, but they were skating over there because they have a facility and we didn't," he said. "Those are the things that happen if we don't invest in our community and our future. We send our business elsewhere and we cap our own programs."
Click here to listen to the entire 30-minute conversation with Ramona Holt and Clarence Wildeboer.