Jaycees at the Capitol

February 14, 2014

Shown are Sweetwater Jaycees (top row, from left to right) Gene Bartlett, Jan Bartlett, Theresa Cowart, Donnie Willman, David Sager, Scot Van Allen, Teddy Kidd, (front row, from left to right) Keith Willman, Riley Sawyers, Melinda Gomez and Blake Stephens.

Representative Susan King hosted the Sweetwater Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce) from Monday, Feb. 10 through Wednesday, Feb. 12, at the Texas State Capitol Outdoor Rotunda. For the eighth year in a row, Rep. King arranged for her colleagues in the House to get an up close and personal view of life in West Texas. The Sweetwater Jaycees took over duties of the Rattlesnake Roundup 52 years ago and have made been coming to the Capitol a tradition.
The Sweetwater Jaycees put on annually what they call the "World's Largest Rattlesnake Round-Up" in the second weekend of March in Sweetwater. The Round-Up was started as a way to control the population of snakes in their area of Texas. The over-population of rattlesnakes was causing harm to the local farmers and ranchers livestock and families.
While at the Capitol, the Jaycees' presentation included a discussion on snake safety and what to do if bitten by one, a snake "interaction" where observers were given the chance to touch the snakes, a lesson on the life and behavior of these reptiles and messages on how to act if one should encounter a snake. Conducting part of the demonstrations this year was Riley Sawyers, star of The Animal Planet's Rattlesnake Republic, and a Sweetwater Jaycee.
Representative Susan L. King represents District 71, Taylor, Jones and Nolan Counties.

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