The Journey of a Lifetime!
Greetings from the far northland of the Land of 10,000 lakes!
My name is Eliza Evans, Miss Rodeo Minnesota 2015. I grew up on the Canadian border on my family’s farm in rural Roseau County Minnesota. I am extremely proud of my farming heritage. My family has lived on our farm for five generations, 120 years. I grew up involved in my local 4h program, showing livestock at my county fair, riding horse and in tractors, fishing, and hunting . Of course graduating from a town nicknamed Hockeytown U.S.A. I also grew up playing hockey; I could actually skate before I could walk. Growing up in such a rural area my horses, cattle, dogs and family were my best and only friends. I greatly value and treasure my rural upbringing. I graduated from the University of North Dakota in 2014 with degrees in Psychology and Indian Studies. I am currently in Law School at the University of North Dakota. I work for the county attorney, have a real estate license, and help my parents on our farm.
I am so blessed to have the opportunity to represent the great state of Minnesota and the sport of rodeo. I myself have been barrel racing since I was five years old. As Miss Rodeo Minnesota I am working hard to travel and represent the hardworking cowboys and cowgirls of my state. I have been given a great opportunity and it is my duty to every cowboy and cowgirl to represent them with the up most integrity, honesty, and hard work. This is not a task I take lightly and each day I am thinking on how I can do and be a better person, cowgirl, and ambassador. It is my hope that I am making everyone proud. The compliments I treasure most are those who come from people I do not know who approach me at rodeos and tell me that I am doing a great job representing our state.
I have been particularly busy because I have not taken time off from Law School. Getting into Law School and becoming Miss Rodeo Minnesota were two of my greatest dreams. The interesting and difficult part is they both came true in a matter of a few months. I did not want to put off Law School after working tirelessly for years to be accepted. It was certainly not an option to pass up my role as Miss Rodeo, an honor and dream of a lifetime. I will often get off a plane or drive all night from a rodeo and go straight to class in my cowboy boots! Even now on summer recess, I will go from wearing a cowboy hat to putting on my glasses and walking into the court room after riding horse all weekend, because I also work for the county attorney, as part of my credit for law school. My diverse life has been one of my greatest opportunities to encourage others. People ask me “How do you do it all?” My honest answer is, I do it because I have to. I do not make excuses for myself. I have to stay motivated and extremely focused in order to get everything I need to get done, done. It is not easy, but most things worthwhile will not be easy! You truly can do anything you believe you can. You and you alone are responsible for your own success. There is nothing that makes me any more special than anyone else. It is simply the fact that I will not allow myself to quit that enables me to do both. My education is something I treasure and hold of up most importance in life. I am very grateful that Miss Rodeo America has developed such a great scholarship program to aid all of us in our educational endeavors. I believe that education is a key to many doors of opportunity than no one can take away from you. I also love to share education with people I meet along the way. Many people I meet unfortunately have the stereotype that cowboys are rather uneducated people. This is far from the truth. I am surprised by the number of people who are completely shocked that I am in law school, because they do not expect a cowgirl to be pursuing such a high level of education. I am able to explain how many cowboys and cowgirls are very educated people! Many people who not guess that funny man Justin Rumford has an MBA.
My greatest honor so far has been carrying the American Flag in to an arena and watching people of all backgrounds, colors, and beliefs rise as one group to honor our country. Each time I have carried the American Flag I myself have teared up. It is an honor that I cannot quite put into words, but one that I will take with me for the rest of my life. My grandfather served in World War II and my father in Vietnam. Honoring our military and their sacrifices is very important to me. I am extremely proud that the sport of rodeo takes the time before each rodeo to honor those who make it possible to live in a place where we are able to enjoy the freedom to participate in rodeo. I am also thankful and proud that rodeo maintained prayer as part of each rodeo.
I have had the privilege to be part of many great and prestigious rodeos so far. I started my year off with a trip to the Denver Stock Show, it was surreal to carry a flag down the ally and into a thundering crowd! I have since been in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Florida as well as throughout Minnesota. Being part of the 1st Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Florida was a great experience, I am thankful that to have been included. I have kept busy the past couple months in my own state with the busy schedule there has not been as much free time to travel out of the state. It is great to be in Minnesota interacting with the people I represent. I am very excited to travel to the Cheyenne Frontier Days next week, I have been dreaming of attending this rodeo since I was a child.
None of this would be possible without the people I have met along the way. Whether it be the volunteer who brought me to the airport at 4:00A.M. in Denver, or volunteers who have organized every detail of a trip, none of this would be possible without the effort of volunteers. Our great sponsors also make the year possible. Thank you to all the people who have helped me along the way! One of the greatest parts of my role is being able to work behind the scenes and long before the first fan arrives at a rodeo. I have been able to see all the work that goes into making a rodeo successful. I believe these rodeo committees and volunteers throughout the country are the backbone of rodeo. Many of them work year round to put on a rodeo that only happens once a year! Their love of the sport keeps them putting on rodeos and provides the cowboys, cowgirls, stock contractors, and fans a reason to keep coming back!