Friday, August 2nd, 2019

A native of Tulsa, OK, Diffie is a member of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 25 years. A star athlete in high school, he originally set his sights on a medical career, but his love for music won out and he began performing in a gospel group. He paid the bills by working in a foundry and later joined a bluegrass band before deciding to give Nashville a try. He got a job working in the warehouse at Gibson Guitars, but felt like he wasn’t any closer to making his dreams come true.

He was on the verge of moving home when a conversation with his dad changed his destiny. “The best advice I ever got was from my dad,” Diffie recalls with a smile. “He said, ‘If you don’t have a goal, you don’t have anything to shoot at. Do something every day towards your music. Write a song or play your guitar.’ I took that to heart and made sure I did something every day whether it was big or little. I remember getting out of bed one time because I had forgotten to do something towards my music. I actually got up, got my guitar and played for a few minutes and then went back to bed. I feel like that had something to do with the success that I’ve managed to achieve. I think it would apply in anything. I lived, breathed, ate and slept music all the time. I was so obsessed with it.”

That passion and dedication to his dream paid off. His first break came when Holly Dunn recorded “There Goes My Heart Again” and asked him to sing harmony. “I remember going to the mailbox one time and getting the first check from that song and was like, holy crap! I need to write some more songs! I hadn’t seen that much money in my whole life,” he laughs.

By 1990, Diffie had signed with Epic Records and released his debut album A Thousand Winding Roads. His very first single, “Home,” hit No. 1. He continued to dominate the charts throughout the 90s with such hits as “New Way (To Light Up an Old Flame),” “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets),” “Is It Cold in Here,” “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die),” “So Help Me Girl,” “Bigger than the Beatles” and “Third Rock from the Sun.” Jason Aldean paid tribute to Diffie and name-checked many of the veteran entertainer’s classics in his hit “1994.” The video featured Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, Little Big Town, Jake Owen and others paying homage to the man who influenced them.

“It was a nice shot in the arm and it’s amazing to me the impact that it’s had. A lot of fans are coming to my shows now to see who the dude is that Jason and Thomas are talking about,” Diffie says, noting that Thomas Rhett co-wrote the song and often plays it in his shows. “The really amazing thing is the fans know every song that I sing. We’ll go to a place and they’ll be a bunch of younger people and they’ll know every single word. Obviously, they’ve gone back and done some research or downloaded something. It’s pretty cool.”

Nevertheless, Diffie has trouble seeing himself as an elder statement because he’s just as active as ever. Most recently Diffie has teamed with producer Phil O’Donnell a.k.a. “Phillbilly” to craft I Got This. “Phil’s very inventive and is such a pleasure to work with. He has some unique ideas. He’s kind of laid back like me.” Diffie says. “He did a great job.”

With nearly 30 years in the spotlight, Diffie has no plans to slow down. “I love music. It’s just a part of me,” he says. “Retiring would be like cutting off my arm or something. I enjoy everything about it. The travel part gets old once in a while admittedly, but I love the fans. It beats working any day.”

Fair Schedule

Monday, July 22nd – Pre-Fair Clean up night – 6:30 pm

Monday, July 29th – Pre-Fair Clean up night – 6:30 pm

Tuesday, July 30th

  • 4-H/FFA & Open Class dog show. All released after judging – 9:00 am
  • 4-H/FFA & Open Class cat show. All released after judging – 10:30 am
  • 4-H/FFA & Open Class small pet show. All released after judging – 1:00 pm
  • Open Class Entry – Exhibit Building, North Door – 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Ag Olympics – 7:00 pm @ Livestock Building

Wednesday, July 31st

  • Open Class Entry – Exhibit Building, North Door – 8:00 am – 11:00 am
  • 4-H/FFA Judging of entries – 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Open Class Judging of entries – 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Team Penning – 7:30 pm @ Horse Arena

Thursday, August 1st

  • 4-H/FFA Horse Show (Trail, Timed Events, Ground Roping & Working Stock) – 11:00 am
  • 4-H/FFA & Open Class Dairy Shows (Milking dairy cows released after show) – 1:00 pm
  • Exhibit Building Open – 1:00 pm – 10:30 pm
  • Livestock Judging Contest – 5:30 pm
  • Mutton Bustin’ – 7:30 pm
  • Extreme Bull Riding – Double S Bulls – 7:30 pm – Sweet & Salty in the Beer Garden

Friday, August 2nd

  • 4-H/FFA Horse Show (Judged Events, Except Working Stock) – 8:30 am
  • 4-H/FFA & Open Class Rabbit shows – 8:30 am
  • Exhibit Building Open – 9:00 am – 10:30 pm
  • 4-H/FFA Poultry Show – 8:30 am
  • Small Animal Round Robin Contest (to follow Rabbit show) – 1:00 pm
  • 4-H/FFA & Open Class Goat show – 2:00 pm
  • 4-H/FFA & Open Class Sheep show immediately after Goat show – 5:00 pm
  • Joe Diffie in Concert – 8:00 pm  – Backroad Spirits in the Beer Garden

Saturday, August 3rd

  • Pancake Breakfast – Sponsored by Farmer’s Pride – 7:00 am – 9:00 am
  • 4-H/FFA & Open Class Swine show – 8:00 am
  • Exhibit Building Open – 9:00 am – 10:30 pm
  • 4-H/FFA & Open Class Beef show refer to show schedule for order. Large Animal Round Robin Showmanship Contest to be held immediately following Beef show. Large Animals (Beef, Sheep, Swine, Dairy, Horse & Goat) – 11:00 am
  • Horseshoe Pitching Contest (East of tennis courts) – 1:30 pm
  • Premium Auction – 4:00 pm
  • Antelope County Barbecue @ Riverside Park – Sponsored by Neligh Chamber of Commerce – 4:30 pm
  • Pie & Ice Cream Social @ Riverside Park – 4:30 pm
  • Antique Tractor Parade @ Riverside Park – 3:30 pm
  • Demolition Derby – 7:00 pm – Jessy Karr Band in the Beer Garden

Sunday, August 4th

  • Pancake Feed – 4-H & FFA exhibitors free @ Riverside Park – Sponsored by Two Rivers Irrigation/Carquest – 7:30 am – 10:30 am
  • Exhibit Building Open – 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Open Horse Fun Day @ Arena – 10:00 am
  • Church Service at Riverside Park – 10:30 am
  • 4-H Fashion Revue & Awards Ceremony – 12:30 pm
  • All exhibits released & must be picked up and out of Exhibit Building by 4:00 pm. The Fair Board will not be responsible for any items not picked up during release time – 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • MATTPA Truck and Tractor Pull – 5:00 pm – Beer Garden Open
  • Round Robin Roping – 5:00 pm @ Horse Arena

NOTE: All barns must be cleaned – wood chips and manure must be placed in designated areas.

Inflatable Games Midway Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

Open Class

Click here to see the 2019 Open Class Fairbook

Click here to see the 2018 Open Class News/Updates

Open Class events are open to residents of Antelope County and any county that borders Antelope County EXCEPT for livestock entries. Only Antelope County residents can enter livestock.

All static entries must be entered between 1-6 PM on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 or 8-11 AM on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 using the north door of the Exhibit Building. Livestock are entered between 8 AM-Noon on Thursday August 1, 2019. An exhibitor may enter only one (1) entry per class number. All exhibitors must fill out their own exhibitor tags prior to entry day. Tags can be picked up at the Extension Office in the basement of the courthouse or from the Open Class Superintendents, Alice Morrison @ (402) 843-8321 or Judy Zegers @ (402) 843-5865.

Open Class events follow the 4H/FFA events.

Exhibits are released on Sunday between 2-4 PM. The board will not be responsible for any items not picked up during release time.

Pee Wee Showmanship is open to children 4-8 years old as of January 1, 2019 and will be allowed to show animals at the discretion of the Superintendent.

All exhibit tags must show the age of the exhibitor.

Event Rules

Ag Olympics – Registration begins at 6:30 pm. Contact Ed Pellatz at (402) 929-3046 for details or for early registration.

Demo Derby – Contact Logan Dawdy at (308) 627-0827 with Wreckless Promotions for more information – View the rules here.

Mutton Bustin’Registration Form

Round Robin Roping – Contact Paul Rudloff at (402) 929-0480 to participate.

Team Penning – Contact Kenny Oelsligle (402) 860-0582 to sign up or for early registration.
Competition begins at 7:30 pm.; Limited to first 40 teams registering. Entry fee is $60 per team.
* Each person can ride on three teams but each ride has to have at least one different person.

Mid America Truck and Tractor Pullers Association – Contact Chris Bouc at (402) 443-6871 to participate. Visit MATTPA.com for more information – View the rules here.

Event Results


Econo Mod

Duane Pfister – One Piece at a Time – 295.80 ft

Bob Pommier – Farmall M – 292.32 ft

Duane Pfister – 1468 – 290.17 ft

Darin Priest – Rudolf – 278.19 ft

Bob Pommier – Massey 44 – 270.16 ft

Pro Stock 4×4

Dave Wenske – Big Red Express – 295.91 ft

Chris Bouc – Screamin’ Bohemian – 293.09 ft

Branden Walling – What Next – 265.86 ft

Bronson Gibbons – Razz Ma Tazz – 259.82 ft

4WD Modified

Randy Slifer – Just Right – 310.75 ft

Mark Gibbons – Tude Truck – 279.42 ft

Paula Bouc – Bohemian Outlaw – 267.34 ft

3.0 Diesel Trucks

TW Vasa – The Max Effect – 310.80 ft

John Kraspar – Mad Max – 308.24 ft

2WD Modified

Shawn Ferichs – Killin’ Time – 339.46 ft

Luke Renter – Running Wild – 330.87 ft

Aaron Dekkers – Ragin’ Red – 325.08 ft

Gerald Tomka – Just Layen Around – 308.60 ft

Dick Douglas – Redneck Special – 284.75 ft

Mitch Tomka – Tomka Toy – 283.67 ft

Pam Slifer – UpWanted – 241.29 ft

Alex Chapa – Blood, Sweat and Beers – DQ-293.70 ft

466 Tractors

Keith Keaschall – Die Hard Deere – 342.64 ft

Nate Bottjen – Unknown Binder – 323.14 ft

Paul Kremlacek – Boondock Binder – 313.92 ft

Tiger Bradley – Double Trouble – 106.06 ft

LSS Tractors

Mel Nelson – Born Loser Lite – 302.76 ft

Tyler Spotanski – Super 10 – 299.03 ft

Tyler Spotanski – Centsless – 275.79 ft


4-6 Years Old
Asher Kurpgeweit and Brecken Hoefer
Jenna and Kaleb Kallhoff
Hannah Elder and Jayden Sauser

7-12 Years Old
Chase Thomas and Callan Zegers
MaKenna Boggs and Maddoz Zegers
Kate Furstenau and Heather Johnson

13-18 Years Old
Josey Booth and Emma Boggs
Ashton Higgins and Talon Krebs
Natalie Johnson and Dylan Furstenau

19 and Over
Bethany and Bud Miller
Krystal King and Kara Johnson
Randy Reinke and Tom Krause


Phillip Wright, Don Schmitz and Patrick Mahoney 1:35:89
Bob Frey, Don Schmitz and Jon Mazour 2:23:39
Tammi Nervig, Don Schmitz and Phillip Wright 2:02:87
Harold Fischer, Steve Skibinski 2:31:77

Junior Teams
Macy Zentner, Bailey Lehr and Ashleigh Nelson 1:20:34
Macy Zentner, Brooke Lehr and Ashleigh Nelson 1:52:60
Macy Zentner, Bailey Lehr and Brook Lehr 1:56:09


Group Roping
Paul Rudloff , header; Trey Baum heeler
Darin Wickersham, header; and Dave Mast, heelers
Ryan Ahlers, headers; Lynn Rader, heelers

No. 3 Headers
Mike Odell
Lacey Anson
Shawn Coleman

No. 3 Heelers
Heath Groghan
Trevor Schumacher
Brayton Croghan


Dick Schrader
Nick Allemang
Chad Kaup
Curt Anderson
Joe Kepford
Dawson Kaup
Trent Hoefer
Cris Kurpgeweit


Blue Heat
Christian Hawk
Garrett Carpenter
John Hansen
Jared Seier
Vinny Kallhoff
Sean Spangler
Tucker Knust
Cory Raatz
Jacob Dickau
Mad Dog
Garrett Carpenter

Red Heat
Jake Grundmayer
Shawn Langemeier
Andrew Blecher
Korban Palmer
Jason Jacob
RJ Bichlmeier
Nate Buck
Cole Scott
Paul Bichlmeier
Mad Dog
Shawn Langemeier

Yellow Heat
Owen Shaffer
Jared Boschen
Brian Koch
Brandon Shock
Sam Kallhoff
Lance Willats
Colby Roland
Travis Grosserode
Amanda Boschen
Mad Dog
Brian Koch

Run/Done Heat
Christian Hawk,
Owen Shaffer
Brian Koch
Jake Grundmayer
Jared Boschen
John Hansen
Jason Jacob
Cole Scott
Jared Seier
Shawn Langemeier



Vendors may contact Stephanie Hoffman at (402) 929-0208.


Food Vendors may contact Jeff Carr at (402) 929-0326.