Miracle workers keep fair arena orderly

Most people probably don’t think too much about questions like… How does Olsrud arena always look so good? Why isn’t there constant dust from the wood chips that cover the floor? How does the arena go back and forth from show ring to auction ring so quickly?

The reason those questions aren’t generally asked is because those things just happen. With no drama, few hiccups and little accolade the job just gets done. The man that gets the job done is Duane Haas of Eagle Point.


“I do it for the kids,” is a common sentiment with all of the volunteers behind the scenes that make the fair happen. It’s also why Haas does it. “It’s great to work with the kids and get to know them” said a very unassuming and selfless Haas. You have to be selfless to do the things he does for both the fair and the 4-H  club (Butte Basin Beef) that he co-leads.


The initial set-up and daily maintenance of the 2000 sq. ft. ring is the “easy” part. But Wednesday night, after the ring was transformed into an auction ring for the Hog Auction, as soon as the auction is over Haas has about 8 hours to turn it back into a show ring for the market steer classes first thing Thursday morning.
That job isn’t a solo job, he gets help from Harold Leonardo and Dennis Smith and usually other volunteers. But once again, spectators leave the auction arena Wednesday night and return to a spotless show ring hours later. The auction ring setup makes the auction an even more special event for both the kids selling their animals and for those purchasing, “I take pride in my ring setup”, beamed Haas.

The ring isn’t Haas’s only responsibility during fair week, as co-leader with Mert Davis he helps with running the feed truck back and forth for the hungry cattle that Butte Basin brings to the fair. He also helps with running the water truck, carrying hundreds of gallons of well water for the animals as well ae is also the President of Jackson County Stockman’s Association and father to Rachael Haas a current fair exhibitor.

Happy bumper stickers and endless facebook pages begging people to do nice things are all well and good. Duane Haas and all of the volunteers make the fair happen by taking selfless action and being leaders by example for those kids, and adults around them.
By Mike Leonard
For the Independent

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