Tippetts hits the ground running as new fair manager

By David Peck

At the age of 23, Masey Tippetts may seem young to be hired as the new manager of the Big Horn County Fair, but with her more than 10 years of experience at the fair, office management experience and a love of events, she is more than ready to accept the challenge.

The daughter of Brook and Brandy Tippetts of Lovell and a 2016 graduate of Lovell High School, Tippetts was recommended by the newly reconstituted Big Horn County Fair Board and ultimately approved by the county commissioners. She said her hiring was official on April 9, and she started the job Monday, April 26.

She comes to the position after more than two years as a bookkeeper at Wilson Brothers Construction in Cowley.

Tippetts has been involved with the Big Horn County Fair since the age of 12, first through 4-H and then as a member of the Lovell FFA Chapter for four years under advisor Will Zollman. She said she believes both her father, Brook, and grandfather, Tim Tippetts, were president of their FFA chapters during high school, as she was herself.

She said her dad encouraged her to become involved in the fair, and she also received great support from her mother. She said she showed just about every animal during her years, but her favorites were horses and dogs, assisted by Linda and Chelle Schwope and Chandi Workman.

Continuing her education at Northwest College, where she studied horse training and animal science, Tippetts helped put on numerous horse shows as an active member of the NWC Horseman’s Club, which she said were like smaller versions of a fair.

Tippetts went to work for Wilson Brothers in February of 2019, she said, gaining valuable experience in the financial side of management. That experience was important, she said, because of the financial pressure public programs are facing. She said the fair will need to be careful with the budget and “prove we can hold our own and not be (considered) a waste of money.”

Since college, Tippetts has stayed active riding and training horses, and she started a breeding program, which produced the first colt this year.

“It’s the start of my own little herd,” she said, noting that her parents are providing the space for the horses. She also runs five head of cows with Brad and Zack Tippetts at their place east of Lovell, and she helps Workman to coach the Rocky Mountain and Lovell FFA horse judging teams.

Her love of horses has remained strong despite a setback in 2014 when she was bucked off a horse during a barrel racing event at a high school rodeo in Montana, breaking her back. That took place at the end of her sophomore year, and with further rodeo competition out of the picture, that’s when she became serious about FFA projects and horse judging.

She said she’s fully recovered from the injury, “as long as I stay in shape.”

Fair management

Tippetts called being the fair manager “one of the jobs I’ve always wanted,” adding, “I’ve always been interested in event management, and I love organizing things. I did it throughout high school and college.”

Asked what she brings to the position, she said, “I’m young enough to use technology and update aspects of the fair like purchasing tickets online. I’m a go-getter. I’m not afraid of hard work to get things done.

“I have experience as an exhibitor and know problems (that crop up) behind the scenes and how to fix them.”

As to the inevitable political aspects of a position like fair manager, Tippetts didn’t bat an eye when asked.

“I don’t like to play politics. I get the work done and let that show itself,” she said. “I handle stress well, and I don’t get overwhelmed. I don’t mind being yelled at.

“I have the commissioners and the board to back me, and they’ve been fantastic making sure I have everything I need, along with Lori Smallwood (county clerk). She’s been awesome.”

And then she added with a smile, “I’m very used to those crazy fair moms. My mom was one.”

Tippetts has hit the ground running, selling advertising for the fair book, booking acts for the free stage and making sure all of the contracts are in order. She said that, while it’s too late to implement any major changes to the fair this year, the new fair board has already been going through the fair book to make sure the information and forms are up to current standards.

Down the road, she said, she wants to look into replacing or extremely upgrading the barns at the fairgrounds to provide a better experience for exhibitors and to make the facilities a place the community can use year-round. The fairgrounds and the fair can be an even greater economic benefit to the community, she said.


Fink wins fair book cover contest

A Lovell High School sophomore is the winner of a contest to design the cover of this year’s Big Horn County fair book.

Jaylynne Fink said she entered the contest through her high school art class.

Knowing that Wyoming is a patriotic state, Fink incorporated a U.S. Flag with a double image of Big Horn County, a bighorn sheep skull and the 4-H and FFA logos superimposed over the flag.

She used colored pencils for most of the project and a silver pen for the stars on the flag.