Greeley, Colorado

  • Interviews By
  • Grace Hood
  • Photos By
  • Hart Van Denburg
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Cowboy Church 2 Boys
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

Two boys wait for the start of Cowboy Church services at the Weld County Fair on Sunday, July 29, 2018, in Greeley. The fair traditionally has been an agricultural affair for farmers and ranchers, but the oil and gas industry is a key industrial driver in the county now, and this year — the fair’s 100th — it was sponsored in part by some of the biggest players in the energy industry in Colorado including Anadarko, Noble Energy, as well as the Colorado Oil and Gas Association.

Justin Todd Herod
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

Justin Todd Herod of Backroads Ministries leads Cowboy Church services at the Weld County Fair on Sunday, July 29, 2018, in Greeley.

Boy’s Spurs
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

A young boy’s worn out boots and spurs at the Weld County Fair during Cowboy Church services on Sunday, July 29, 2018, in Greeley.

Pastor Shorty Hauffman
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

Pastor Shorty Hauffman, of Kersey, at the Weld County Fair after Cowboy Church services on Sunday, July 29, 2018, in Greeley. “I’ve seen a little bit of a spiritual awakening in Kersey,” he says of Kersey. “Our little church (Kersey Cowboy Church, which he helped found in 1999) is growing. There’s two churches in Kersey and both of them are growing.”

“I see some really good things being done to turn our country back to being a faith-based country. Not near enough. But that’s what occurs to me. We’re seeing people openly talking about Christ. We’re seeing people talking about God. The shield against that is kinda coming down,” he said.

The pastor’s congressman is Republican Ken Buck, “and he’s solid. He believes in this country. I’m a limited government man and he very much believes in limited government. I’ve always said, if you want to mess it up, let the government do it.”

The state’s doing well, Hauffman said. “We do well for a lot of good reasons. I’m not sure it matters who’s in office. As long as they don’t try and rock the boat. Gov. Hickenlooper’s not tried to rock the boat a lot. And because of that we’ve done well. We’re a very wealthy state. We’ve got a lot going for us.”

When it comes to President Trump, “I don’t agree with everything he does. I don’t think I’ve agreed with every president ever. But a lot of the things, I think he’s done really well with.”

Marty Durant
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

Marty Durrant of Greeley, a longtime member and officer of the Corvettes West Car Club, was helping to direct traffic at the Weld County Fair’s VetteFest on Sunday, July 29, 2018. He’s lived in Greeley since 1978, and said that if he wasn’t wearing his official red ball cap, he’d have on a red “Make America Great Again” hat. He’s a strong supporter of President Trump, and the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. -- “a judge who will look at the Constitution, put his feelings aside, and say, ‘Is this in the Constitution or isn’t it. And that’s what I want.”

Durrant thinks there too much news about the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election “”it’s a witch hunt,” he says -- and not enough time spent on trade deals with China, nuclear negotiations with North Korea. The real issue with Russia, he says, is that “Russia and the U.S. have 90 percent of the nukes. We need to be able to talk. We need to be on the same page. It doesn’t mean we have to do what they say, or gio along with what they do, but we need to be able to communicate.”

From his perspective, “it’s just unbelievable what’s happened with the economy. If people will look at their 401Ks and standard of living it’s just been unbelievable what we’ve done.” (Check out CPR’s Colorado Data page for economic performance in the state going back decades.) And how does he think the president is doing? “Excellent.”

Corvette Festival
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

Dozens of Corvettes, spanning decades of models, were on display Sunday, July 29, 2018 as part of the Weld County Fair’s VetteFest car show in Greeley. A visitor wore a "Still Plays With Cars" t-shirt.

Mike Buffington
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

Mike Buffington of Longmont sits in the shade beside his Corvette at the Weld County Fair’s VetteFest car show in Greeley on Sunday, July 29, 2018. He’s lived in the Boulder area for decades, and after a career in the tech industry, he’s retired now.

“There's a lot of things happening now and I think more important than anything else is that we have to get healthcare solved,” he said. “I'm lucky because I'm on Medicare,” he added. But his daughter “struggles. She's 30 years old, works in retail,” and she and others can't really do much else with lives, can't make plans because of the cost of health insurance.

Weld County Fair Sheep
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

An early-morning stroll with sheep before judging starts at the at the Weld County Fair on Sunday, July 29, 2018, in Greeley.

Cody Baumgardner
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

Cody Baumgardner of Hudson poses for a photo in his goat pen at the Weld County Fair in Greeley on Sunday, July 29, 2018. He's 18 years old, getting ready to vote for the first time, and says, "I don't really know much about politics." He says President Trump "is doing great," but I know not a lot of people don't like him.

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