Hello from the state which is home to not just one but four US Presidents! Alright maybe it is just their faces on Mount Rushmore but now that I have your attention my name is Kendra Peterson and I am your Miss Rodeo South Dakota. My parents, Ronald and Myla Peterson, live on the family farm near Sisseton where I have had the pleasure to call home for all 24 years of my life and I also have one 18 year old brother who just graduated from high school. I graduated from the University of Minnesota in Crookston in December of 2013 with a degree in Accounting and a minor in Agricultural Business. Some of my hobbies include riding horses, spending time with my family and friends, and driving – yes I love driving! After I graduated from college I started working for South Dakota Wheat Growers but decided to leave the company this year to devote all of my time to representing South Dakota and our state’s official sport (rodeo). In December I started moving all of my belongings back to my parents’ house in Sisseton and officially was living back at home to start this year. Being at home has definitely kept me humble this year from helping with about anything imaginable to do with the registered Black Angus cattle to putting rides on those American Quarter Horses who sometimes are really feeling their oats. All jokes aside, I truly would not be where I am today without my family and could not do everything I’ve done and have planned this year without them.
People always think that being a rodeo queen is something you have wanted to be for most of your life, but for me this was not the case. When I was younger and started to rodeo (on Dad’s horse that I just took over) I competed in every event they would let me, except goat tying (I am already accident prone enough) and the queen contests. To this day, my friends still remind me that I was that roper that would keep asking how long the queens were going to take in the arena because I wanted to compete. While I was filling out entries my junior year for high school rodeo my mom laughed and said are you sure you do not want to run for queen because you are already doing everything else. I looked at the application and called my good friend Courtney and asked her if she thought that I would even have a chance. After that phone call I was left with the number for the South Dakota High School Queen, Kristina, and told to “just talk to her and she will help you.” Little did I know that making that phone call to that state queen would lead to me competing for my first title and then continuing to compete until I became Miss Rodeo South Dakota. After experiencing all of the hard work, knowledge and skill it took to be a rodeo queen, I have encouraged younger girls who “would rather swing a rope than smile and wave” that you can do both.
Now back to the driving part! After coronation in January I hit the road in my car that Make It Mine of Mitchell covered in decals of all of my personal sponsors. My car has also been named “the race car” and hanging from the mirror is a gift I received from the South Dakota Fur Trappers Association which is a raccoon tail key chain that Miss Rodeo Idaho named Larry. My year has taken me to Colorado, Florida, North Dakota, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Kansas, and of course all over South Dakota. I just started out my summer with a trip back to North Dakota last weekend which has pushed my mileage over the 16,000 mile mark for the year and am more than ready to see how many more miles the racecar, Larry, and I will travel! In South Dakota you can easily find a rodeo somewhere on any given weekend from the beginning of June through the end of August, but some of my favorites are the Casey Tibbs Bronc Match, Crystal Springs Rodeo, Belle Fourche Roundup (also the Miss Rodeo South Dakota pageant), Corn Palace Stampede, Days of 76, and the Dacotah Stampede. Along with some award winning rodeos, I also have the pleasure of working all summer with two South Dakota stock contractors who always seem to have stock at the WNFR. While talking with other state queens, they haul their horse to most rodeos. Sutton Rodeo and Korkow Rodeo make the job of being Miss Rodeo South Dakota a little bit easier with providing a saddle horse at each of their rodeos and I cannot thank them enough!
Hope to see you down the rodeo road!
Miss Rodeo South Dakota