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Letter: Mission of FARM II’s major players need to be clarified

Published on February 2, 2018 3:17PM


Thank you for shining a brighter light on the efforts regarding BMCC’s FARM II.

Attracting potential events and uses of a Round-Up-located animal science center comes at a cost of potentially throwing others to the side.

It is clear from the information made available to the public that the primary use would be animal science education that by appearance would function year-round as other BMCC programs do. Folded in is the purported benefit to the BMCC rodeo program. Not mentioned in the dialogue is what happens to the Junior Livestock Show, Rodeo Bible Camp, Pendleton Cattle Barons Weekend, general riding of the several individuals/clubs, cruise line shows, and Round-Up’s current use of the indoor facility.

There is also the consideration of the occasional livestock traveler (horse and otherwise) that find overnight haven at the Round-Up Grounds and how the new facility will impact this use. Likewise, what is the impact to Fallen Field and its use by the youth sports of Pendleton and the availability of the same field for parking for events like Whisky Fest and Round-Up competitors?

Also is the apparently forgotten Phase II of the Wildhorse expansion and the inferred possibility that it will add a third conflicting indoor/outdoor facility to the area, too. While some will deflect the mention of EOTEC as a red herring to FARM II’s success, it is not. As a collaborative effort, the reasonable question to ask is what will be done to make FARM II different?

The missions of FARM II’s major players have to be clarified so the public understands why BMCC now has to be an economic driver rather than an educator, why the city and even the county have to be an educator rather than providing safe and efficient services to its citizens, and why the Round-Up has to be an educator rather than conducting an annual event of frontier sports and pastimes. The collaboration has to be more than the hope that the back pocket check will be spent.

Scrutiny of all these considerations is especially important when you look at the full picture where the city, the county and BMCC exclaim the lack of adequate funds for everyday operations and the Round-Up’s publicly disclosed less-than-positive bottom line in the most recent years. The taxpayers and the supportive citizens of the community must be engaged with details rather than the simple assurance that it’s a great thing to do. FARM II’s success depends on it.

Carl Culham,

Athena



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