Greetings to you all with a hearty, Midwest hello from The Heartland of America, the one and only Sunflower State, Kansas! I hope this message finds you enjoying the sunshine and making wonderful summertime memories.
I am writing to you just a bit after I reached the halfway mark of my reign. There are several exciting appearances still on the docket. I am currently in Colorado Springs witnessing history in the making at the Class of 2015 Professional Cowboy Rodeo Association Hall of Fame Inductions. Later this week I, along with the majority of state representatives, will be learning from the best in our industry at the Miss Rodeo America Seminar, where we will be continuing our rodeo queen education.
As for me, the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo and Miss Rodeo Kansas Pageant inspired many new and wonderful memories over the past weekend. Miss Rodeo Nebraska, Miss Rodeo Colorado, Miss Rodeo Wyoming and newly crowned 2016 National Little Britches Rodeo Association National Queen joined me in the ‘Queen of Cowtowns’ as Miss Rodeo Kansas 2016, Miss Lauren Rumbaugh, was crowned.
Treasured memories from the beginning of my year include running flags at my first appearance during the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, flying utterly out of control on a pair of skis towards the finish line in a cowboy hat and chaps at the Cowboy Downhill in Steamboat, enjoying sunny weather in early spring at the Silver Spurs and Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Florida and being officially crowned in front of a large audience of supportive friends, family and sponsors at my Miss Rodeo Kansas coronation in January.
My most proud, yet most humbling moment has been the opportunity share a special American flag with audiences across Kansas. This flag was flown by my brother during his first deployment in Afghanistan in 2009 and the story behind this certain set of colors has brought those that it is presented to to their feet. Justin Jacobucci with Ride Hard Leather crafted a pair of chaps to perfectly match the pride that I have in this flag.
Come September I will ‘Let ‘Er Buck’ at the legendary Pendleton Roundup, and right before I take flight to the Northwest I will assist with the Kansas State Fair ribbon cutting ceremony, as an honored 4-H alumni guest. The third weekend of October I am at the Prairie Circuit Finals as Miss Rodeo Nebraska, Miss Rodeo Oklahoma as we take our final waves.
These experiences are possible due to the support of sponsors. My major personal sponsors include: Smart Boons, Wildcat Creek Ranch, Kranz Family Chrysler, Ideal Protein, Tallgrass Commodities, Grasshopper Mowers , Jess Tuck Photography and Kansas Fur Harvesters.
Now, picture an ornery, blonde headed tomboy playing competitive tackle team football with the boys and helping the vet on every farm call. That was me. My parents raised my three siblings Jason, Michelle, Emily and me on a farm near Hesston, Kansas.
My family was extremely active in 4-H, as we raised and showed sheep, cattle and horses. The highlight of my 4-H involvement was the Equestrian Tour to Scotland and Ireland I my team was awarded for winning the National Hippology Contest in 2010. My loyalty runs deep to 4-H for who I have become today and I have enjoyed giving back to the organization in numerous ways over the years as a project leader and guest speaker and currently during my year through promotions and activities.
My 4-H involvement carried into college where I was an active member of the cooperative living house, Alpha of Clovia. A proud Wildcat, (love that Purple Pride!) I graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Interior Design. My degree has led some to ask the question: “What do design and rodeo have in common?” Our focus as designers is to create a world focused on people. We focus first on humans by creatively solving the issue at hand. I have found my training in creative problem solving to correlate directly to the job of a rodeo queen, as I lead my other Kansas rodeo royalty.
While in college I took full advantage of being in an environment that offered activities for all my interests. I enjoyed leadership roles in my peer organized design group and coordinating the Manhattan community-wide Fair Trade Marketplace. I competed for my university on the Kansas State University Rodeo Team. My senior year I indulged in my love of design and travel and spent the fall semester studying and traveling throughout Australia.
The aspiration to pursue the Miss Rodeo Kansas crown came during my reign as Miss Rodeo K-State 2012 and during my time as a college rodeo competitor. I became deeply immersed in a community where the qualities of independence, responsibility and camaraderie were cornerstones. I desired to be a giving part, an ambassador, of and for that same community.
Purpose is the driver for life. With purpose there is excitement in the routine, passion in the everyday and extraordinary in the ordinary. I have found great purpose in my title to serve as a leader. My year as Miss Rodeo Kansas has been beyond beneficial in terms of self-development and this growth has motivated me to brand and promote those opportunities that rodeo queening offers to young girls with an interest in a rodeo queen title and to current title holders on how to market themselves in the professional world.
Everything we do affects someone else. The greater our individual achievements and actions, the greater the possibility of influencing others, as I have been greatly influenced by several individuals. My ability to represent my title the way I do is credited to energies and efforts to several individuals that have generously offered their time, talents and treasures. Those individuals include my sponsors, the Miss Rodeo Kansas Board and past Miss Rodeo Kansans and family, especially my mother Dixie and my father Jerry. I am humbled at the amount of knowledge I have gained throughout the past year from these mentors.
It is a privilege to serve as your Miss Rodeo Kansas 2015.