I left you all with Happy Thanksgiving as my last blog left off just a few days before turkey day! November is such a wonderful month and the start of many family celebrations for the holidays. I certainly was glad to be given another Thanksgiving here on this earth. I think too often we take for granted for just being here another day to spend with family and friends. We get all wrapped up in our daily lives, work, never ending to-do lists, and forget to be thankful for all the little things in life. This year, I have so many things to be thankful for. I’m thankful that God blessed me with this wonderful opportunity of a lifetime and gave me the people in my life that He knew would help me along the way. I am thankful to represent the western way of life and the sport of professional rodeo with the IPRA. I can’t thank my parents and my awesome brother enough for their support not only through this year, but for throughout my life.
I also am very thankful for the farmers. Growing up in a small farming community, it was more likely that you followed a combine down the two lane road then a horse trailer. Harvest time was from dawn to dusk and farmers would greet one another in the early hours of the morning at our local Downtown Market (the only place for food) in Slaughters. It was corn mazes, pumpkin pickin’, and sweet tea for the holidays. I am thankful for the farmers that work endless hours to feed the world. I’m thankful for the cotton grown in South Georgia that helps clothe the world, the chicken farmers that help feed the world in Alabama, and the row crop farmers in Kentucky that make sure we have corn, bread, and beans. I say all this to tell you that I attended the 43rd Annual Hopkins County Farm City Breakfast the day before Thanksgiving this year in honor of the farmers.
The Farm City Breakfast is an event that is held annually to honor a farm family of the year and present to the county the yield winners. This event had over 300 people in attendance and also recognized the accomplishments of the youth in our county through 4-H and FFA organizations. Walking in the door at 6 AM this year was an honor to be with several of the farmers that help feed our world. Last year, I attended this event as Miss Sunbelt Rodeo and would have never thought that I would be back as Miss Rodeo USA the following year. I greeted farmers, Hopkins County Officials, and members of the community at the doors. It was wonderful to see familiar faces and meet new people in my county.
After the morning breakfast, I met with the Slaughters Mayor for a sign dedication downtown. I walked into the Slaughter business office to find my autograph picture hanging on the wall with my reception invite from February of this year. I had no idea that was even there! Slaughters has three signs placed at different entrances into our town that say “Welcome to Slaughters, Kentucky”. Through the support of our town officials and Mayor, I now have a sign underneath it that says, “Home of the 2017 Miss Rodeo USA Brittany Howard”. This is truly an honor and I am so thankful for the support that my town of 250 people has given me!
Turkey day for me was helping my mom cook Thanksgiving dinner and enjoying the beautiful 60 degree weather! For the last several years, Mom and I have made it a tradition to go for a little trail ride around the house. I saddled up my horse (is this real life?!) and then saddled my mom’s horse for a sunny ride around the farm. Never take for granted getting to spend time with your mom! I enjoyed every minute of our ride and look forward to many more with her!
Middle of the week I was fortunate to do a 30 minute interview with the local cable TV show called Focus with Tim Thomas. We met in front of the green screen and started filming one of their Christmas editions. It was a great interview with Mr. Thomas and I am proud to be from Hopkins County, Kentucky. It was also ironic that almost 17 years ago, my mom did an interview with Mr. Thomas for her job position. Things have come full circle and who would have thought that I, her daughter, would be back doing an interview 17 years later! In my interview, I strived to inform people about the IPRA and what Miss Rodeo USA is. I also discussed my platform and a few of the fun things that I have been blessed to take part in this year.
As we enter into the spirit of Christmas in December, there are so many events to take part in. I hauled my horse to a neighboring town to ride in their Christmas parade. It was a blessing to see so many little ones and adults taking a moment out of their busy lives to enjoy the parade. I loaded Fancy and moved on to our Madisonville Parade at night. Fancy was decked out in her sparkling green hoofies, red bows, and Christmas lights! I wore my beautiful blue Kristi Q with the patriotic Wynn Custom Leather Chaps. Thanks to the many sponsors who make my everyday outfits!
The last two weeks have been fun and things are only going to get more exciting as we near the end of my reign. I have a to-do list that I work on everyday so that I can continue to stay focused! Many thanks to all of the supporters, friends, sponsors, family, and team that it takes for this wonderful year!
Miss Rodeo USA
Follow the adventures of Miss Rodeo USA 2017 Brittany Howard as she travels the country representing the IPRA. Check back often for updates and new blogs!