Being an advocate for the sport of rodeo and our western lifestyle
“If you don’t share your story, then somebody else will share it for you and it won’t be your story.”
Growing up in agriculture my love for ranching and the western lifestyle has always been strong and I have always wanted to share that love with others.
I had an incredible opportunity to serve as Miss Rodeo Wyoming 1997. The responsibilities that came with this title were to represent Wyoming, rodeo and our western lifestyle. I was able to be a spokesperson for the way of life I truly love. The spokesperson opportunities were varied and included: elementary school and high school visits, radio and television interviews, rodeo appearances, parades, special rodeos and the list goes on. In today’s terms, I was advocating for Wyoming, rodeo and our western lifestyle.
What does it mean to be an advocate? Webster’s Dictionary defines it as “one who supports or promotes the interests of a cause or group.” In other words, stand up for what you believe! I have vivid memories of talking to elementary kids and telling them about rodeo events. I always had spurs with me and would roll them on my face and then explain the difference between a human’s skin and a horse or bull’s hide.
One of the stories I would share that I think surprised kids and adults alike is animal care. I would talk about how well the owners care for their animals before they care for themselves.
These are just a few examples of advocating for rodeo and our western lifestyle during my reign. I have been blessed to continue advocating for agriculture and our western lifestyle through my work as the Media and Member Relations Director/Young Farmer & Rancher Coordinator for the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation. Advocating for agriculture and empowering farmers and ranchers as leaders is truly rewarding. It takes all of us to tell our story of what we do in rodeo and farming and ranching. This western lifestyle has so many benefits for not only those of us directly involved, but those who enjoy the wide open views here in Wyoming and of course for all those who like to eat each day. Today’s consumer wants to know more and more about what we do and it is up to us to tell them the real story or someone else will make up their own version.
Whether we have a title or not we can all do our part in sharing the story of this incredible world of rodeo and agriculture in Wyoming. And whether you get involved in an organization or share your story on social media so others can catch a glimpse of what you do, the sky is the limit. The key is to be you—be kind and not defensive—be approachable—be understanding—be the best face of rodeo and farming and ranching that you can be!