My first trip to Florida was definitely one to remember. From an airboat ride to holding a python to meeting so many wonderful people, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was able to stay with Sheila Shirah, Miss Rodeo Florida during my stay and within the first few hours of being on the East Coast we went hog hunting, saw gators and found out just how cold The Sunshine State can get.
Throughout the week of my visit I experienced so much of Florida with almost 30 other state queens and Miss Rodeo America and Miss Rodeo Canada. We volunteered for BeneFit a charity that involves being active while cleaning up the beach. We rode in the Silver Spurs Rodeo in Kissimmee and I was able to ride a horse from my new friends Dustin and Sydnye Bronson. We visited Gatorland and held all sorts of creatures and wrestled an alligator! We got a ride on an airboat at Boggy Creek Airboat Rides and saw gators in their natural habitat. We toured parts of Osceola County and were welcomed by so many kind people. We attended the Medieval Times Orlando and our knight through me a flower. We visited lots of schools and taught so many kids about rodeo and the western industry. But most of all I had a wonderful time building friendships with not only the other state queens but also the people of Kissimmee.
In February I was also blessed with the opportunity to attend the World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif. I was invited by John Knipe of Knipe Land Company to sign autographs in the booth. John and his company treated me like a rockstar and I felt so welcomed and appreciated. I signed so many autographs that I ran out! Luckily the Miss Rodeo California board was quick to refill my supply. Being at the World Ag Expo was very important to me because I believe that rodeo relies so heavily on the agriculture industry. Not only are the people of that industry the ones that often times fill the seats at rodeos but it is also agriculture that started rodeo. If it weren’t for the cattle industry and ranching, rodeo would never have been started. To be a part of such a prestigious international event was an honor. Thank you to Knipe Land Company for including me!