I was born and raised in the small town of Adel, Iowa and although my parents both had roots in agriculture they were not involved in the industry. My passion for animals began at a young age as I spent most of my free time volunteering at the local animal shelter. Having relatives involved in agriculture and many friends active in 4-H, I decided to join them in hopes of learning more about the agricultural industry. It was there, at the age of 13, that I rode my first horse. I knew my parents could not afford a horse, but I was not giving up that easy! I delivered newspapers, worked for a sheep farmer and collected every pop bottle and can in the county to raise the money. Just two months after my first horseback ride, I met my goal of raising two thousand dollars to purchase a horse. I became actively involved in 4-H as well as County Council, holding many offices within the clubs, showing cattle, horses, rabbits, dogs, cats and even the goldfish from my backyard pond. SoonI discovered I truly enjoyed competing in rodeos. Traveling across the Midwest competing in barrel racing was a dream come true for a girl who grew up in town. While competing in rodeos I met Miss Teen Rodeo Iowa 2005, Callie McCauley, who introduced me to rodeo queening. I later earned the titles of Miss Dallas County Fair Rodeo Queen in 2008 and Miss Teen Rodeo Iowa in 2009. Having the opportunity to promote the sport I loved was an exciting opportunity that encouraged me to compete for Miss Rodeo Iowa.
Iowa is also known as the Hawkeye State. We lead the nation in corn, egg and pork production, as well as wind energy and biodiesel renewable fuels. We are the heart of the Midwest who truly “feeds the world.” Although we call ourselves farmers, we host ten PRCA sanctioned rodeos, and produce top rodeo stock as well as PRCA and WPRA cowboys and cowgirls.
The Miss Rodeo Iowa Pageant is held in conjunction with the Tri- State Rodeo in Fort Madison, Iowa September 7th- 10th, 2016. This spectacular rodeo showcases Bobby Reid parachuting in to the arena with the American Flag along with 1,000+ riders in the grand entry. Cervi Livestock Company provides high quality rodeo stock and cowboys and cowgirls from across the nation compete.
Upon completion of my Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science at Iowa State University in December of 2013, I began my full time career with TriOak Foods as a Swine Fieldman. I oversee TriOak Pork Producers, providing guidance and diagnostics on pig health and medication. If I am not in a hog barn, I am riding my horse, running road races, gardening or photographing Iowa’s beautiful farm scenery.
Upon completion of my rodeo queen career, I will continue to compete in barrel racing and assist the Miss Rodeo Iowa Organization as a mentor for the 2017 titleholder. I also plan to become involved in the Jefferson County Cattlemen’s Association and start a small cow/calf operation on the acreage I recently purchased in Southeastern Iowa.
Why you love rodeo
By earning the prestigious title of Miss Rodeo Iowa, I have received the opportunity to combine my two passions, meeting others and traveling. It has been a once in a life time opportunity and I am very proud to be the 43rd lady in the state to earn this title.
How you plan to promote rodeo during your reign
As Miss Rodeo Iowa, I will travel approximately 30K miles both in and out of the state. Throughout my travels I will attend rodeos, fairs and parades, as well as visit schools, hospitals andnursing homes. I will conduct radio, television and newspaper interviews across the nation to promote the sport and capture the attention of non-rodeo related audiences to encourage them to attend the rodeo performances.
Who inspires you
My father’s favorite saying, “Your animals should live better than you do.” The Miss Rodeo Iowa dad, Dan Chapman, grew up on a farm but never perused a full time career in the agricultural industry. He purchased a bucket bottle calf at the county fair livestock auction 10 years ago. Since then, the herd has nearly doubled in size. While I cared and showed cattle in 4-H, his passion for raising cattle encouraged me to be the best possible herdsman.
Your favorite quote
One of my favorite quotes that I live by on a daily basis was noted by H. Jackson Brown, Jr., “The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” I am a determined individual who has had a bucket list since I was young. I have been fortunate to check off some of the items on my list, but I also add to it daily.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to represent the great state of Iowa and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Honestly, I cannot say that one appearance was better than another because I have enjoyed every minute. I am verythankful for the lifelong friendships I have made throughout my year.
Most embarrassing moment & how you handled it
So far nothing too embarrassing has happened! With my luck, I am sure it will! I have learned to roll with life’s punches and keep a smile on my face because everything happens for a reason.
I was a sophomore in college when I decided I needed to upgrade to continue competing in barrel racing. I purchased a registered American Quarter Horse, Tangy Leo Two, also known as Mr. Pep. I find it funny now, as I remember donating plasma to pay for my entry fees as Pep and I competed in barrel races across the Midwest. He is a big sorrel horse standing 16.2 hands with a huge heart and energetic attitude!
Heather Cannon is the Founder of Women In Rodeo, bringing you… Cowgirl Interviews, Freelance Sideline Reporting and Digital Marketing for your Rodeo or Business.
Facebook: Women In Rodeo