BLACKFOOT â€” Blackfoot native Darrell Jack Callison has been named Grand Marshal of this year's Eastern Idaho State Fair by the EISF Board of Directors. He will lead the annual parade down Shilling Avenue at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30.
â€śWe couldnâ€™t choose a more deserving person for this honor,â€ť said General Manager Brandon Bird. â€śDarrell has been a great contributor to the fair for 50-plus years, dedicated to exhibiting cattle and continuing the tradition with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Darrell embodies the importance and strength of our agricultural community.â€ť
Callison has resided in Blackfoot and actively participated as an exhibitor in the EISF since the age of 27. He exhibited his first Angus bull at the fair in 1964. Since then, he has proudly exhibited under Nonpareil Angus Ranch as well as his own herd, Callison Angus, every year.
When Callison first began exhibiting at the EISF, the livestock show barn was not yet a fixture.
â€śWe showed cattle anywhere we could find a spot: the infield of the racetrack, the outside of the racetrack, and the grass show ring where the goats show now,â€ť said Callison.
Callison is also actively involved in agriculture outside of the EISF, working as an Angus cattle herdsman or ranch manager throughout his career.He is the past president of the Idaho Angus Association and Western States Angus Association.
In 1969, he was selected from candidates throughout the United States as the prestigious â€śHerdsman of the Yearâ€ť from the American Angus Association. Additional family awards include Western States Angus Family of the Year at the Western National Angus Futurity in Reno, Nevada, and Idaho Angus Family of the Year. Most recently in 2012, Darrell and Barbara received the â€śHalâ€ť award from Nonpareil Corporation for their 50 continuous years of service with the company.
â€śI am proud to accept the nomination of Grand Marshal for the 2014 Eastern Idaho State Fair,â€ť said Callison. â€śI still enjoy exhibiting with my family. Plus, the best fair food in the world is right here in Blackfoot.â€ť
Callison was born in 1937 in Newton, Iowa. His mother raised four children as a single mother, so Darrell became the "man" of the house at an early age.
Darrell bought, rebuilt and sold two cars before he even had his driverâ€™s license.
See the full story in Tuesday's Morning News.