September 13, 2021 |

The annual hay bale competition in the Platte Valley brings out the hidden Michelangelo lurking inside of everyone, from hardworking ranch hands to busy business owners.

The Platte Valley Arts Council is sponsoring the 5th Annual Hay Bale Sculpture Contest. Entry forms are due by October 1st. The finished hay bale are often large and colorful, sometimes humorous or elaborate, and always creative.

Mary Martin is the secretary of the Platte Valley Arts Council. Martin Says you don’t have to be a rancher to get involved.


Like great art, the contest works at different levels. Hay bale art raises awareness about the importance ranching to the economy and culture of the valley. It also celebrates the creativity and independent personalities of the people who work the land. The contest also creates a sense of community, Martin said, even if you’re just voting for your favorite.


The “People’s Choice” winner takes home the traveling trophy created by Saratoga artist, Sierra Smith. Past winners have been the Barkhurst family in 2017, TA Ranch in 2018, Town and Country Realty 2019 and CSU Beef Improvements Center last year. Martin recalled some of her favorites.


The entry forms are available on the Platte Valley Arts Council Facebook Page or at Shivley Hardware. The forms are due by October 1st with sculptures to be completed by October 10th. Photos of the completed works of art will be posted on the on the organizations Facebook Page at where “LIKES” will be tallied between October 15 through October 31st.

Pictured above: “Bennett Beak” hay bale sculpture by CSU Beef Improvement Center, winner of the 2020 contest. Photo courtesy Platte Valley Arts Council/Facebook.


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