It has been an honor and privilege to represent The Beaver State as the 2015 Miss Rodeo Oregon. It is a dream come true to be a part of the assembly of women who came before and paved the way for individuals like me. My name is Julie Drescher and I proudly share this coveted title with my hometown of St. Paul, Oregon.
Anyone who knows me would say that I am extremely proud of two things in my life—my hometown and my family. Growing up in St. Paul has been nothing short of a blessing. Nestled in the heart of the Willamette Valley, St. Paul is home to a few of my favorite things—agriculture, rodeo, family, and small town sports. Growing up, I could always be found on the volleyball or basketball court, track, or in the weight room. It is safe to say that for the first 18 years of my life, participating in sports was all I knew. After a decorated career as a St. Paul Buckaroo athlete, I shifted my attention to another love in my life, horses and rodeo.
My love of rodeo stems from volunteering at the Nation’s Greatest 4th of July Rodeo. St. Paul is a town of 350 people. Our rodeo is run entirely by volunteers, with five performances seating 10,000 rodeo fans per performance—pretty impressive! And the St. Paul Rodeo is where it all began for me. I learned early in life that rodeos involve a tremendous amount of volunteerism by selfless community members who dedicate their lives to helping put on a rodeo for the love of the sport, pride of the town and commitment to a way of life. From cleaning and painting concession booths and bleachers, to serving in food stands, booster club booths, Parish chicken BBQ booths, selling programs, and carrying sponsor flags, I worked my way up to eventually represent my hometown rodeo as a 2011 St. Paul Rodeo Court Princess. Each aspect of volunteering taught me that in order to be successful in life, you need to work hard for what you want and continue to give back. One of my favorite quotes by James Doolittle says, “There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.” After putting in thousands of hours of volunteer work myself and watching my community do the same, I believe this quote to be nothing but true. It has truly been my greatest honor to serve others.
After graduating from St. Paul High School, I made my way to Eugene, Oregon where I completed prerequisite studies at the University of Oregon—GO DUCKS! I then transferred to Western Oregon University (WOU) where I completed my Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Special Education, Communications, and Psychology. I graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2013 and immediately after began my graduate studies at WOU in Special Education Teaching. I have a little under one year left of coursework and I am confident that my calling is to be a High School Special Education teacher. I have always known that I wanted to be an educator but it wasn’t until I volunteered in schools and worked at a care home housing severely disabled teens that I found my passion for working with individuals with special needs. These students have impacted me far more than I could ever repay and I have witnessed the purest souls while working with those with special needs. If you ever need perspective, volunteer in a special education program. While my current calling is to serve the rodeo world, I have no doubt that my future is working with kids.
Out of all my endeavors and accolades, nothing has been more consistent in my life than my family. My parents Dan and Jodi Drescher raised me along with three other feisty kids—Jennie, Janelle, and Danny. I am certain that I would not be the person I am today without the unending love and guidance of my family, and for them, I am truly grateful.
As I reflect on my year as Miss Rodeo Oregon, I am humbled and beyond thankful to have been blessed with the opportunity to travel my beautiful state and across this great nation representing Oregon, American agriculture and the greatest sport on earth—rodeo. Some of the highlights of my journey include traveling to rodeos and events in Florida, Oklahoma, Colorado, California, Wyoming, Idaho and, of course, all around Oregon. In addition, I made visits to retirement homes, schools, served with Meals on Wheels and participated in the Great Strides walk for Cystic Fibrosis. Along this amazing journey I have met some of the most intelligent and empowering women. They are my fellow state title holders. These women, like me, have put their lives on hold to travel the country representing the sport of rodeo and the amazing people who live this way of life. Rodeo and this title, have given me the opportunity to meet these incredible women of rodeo and I will forever cherish the friendships we have built this year. After spending the last year getting to know the other state titleholders, I am confident that the PRCA and MRA, Inc. are in good hands for generations to come. It has been one of my greatest honors to reign as Miss Rodeo Oregon and I would love the opportunity to represent this beautiful country and the men and women who live in it as Miss Rodeo America.
The honor of representing my home state as Miss Rodeo Oregon would not be possible without the amazing sponsors who have supported me. Their generous contributions and unending love and support have helped make this dream a reality for this small town girl. Please join me in thanking:
St. Paul Rodeo Association, Moda Health, Desperado, Bob Roy Custom Saddles, Oregon Pacific Construction, Gypsy Crossing, Spirit Mountain Casino, Marion Ag Service, Ernst Irrigation, Canby Rodeo, B&D Hop Farms, St. Paul Jaycees, Jim and Nadine Mullen, Merdine Renne
I am overwhelmed by the amount of support I have received throughout my journey and I look forward to giving back to future generations of rodeo enthusiasts the way everyone has so generously given to me. As I continue my travels, I look forward to meeting all of you along the way. It has been a goal of mine to start and finish my reign with integrity and uphold the strong values and standards so many men and women in rodeo have established before me. With the support of my amazing Miss Rodeo Oregon, Inc. family, friends, and community, I look forward to continuing this legacy.