Hello, from the snow covered state of Iowa! First of all, I want to introduce myself to let you know who I am and where I come from. I am the twenty-six year old daughter of Steve and Linda Morrison from southeast Iowa. I am so honored to have been raised as a farmer's daughter. My family works on a fully functioning cattle and crop farm, where we raise beef cattle, run a cow-calf operation and grow soybeans, corn and hay. I grew up showing in 4-H and FFA but did not start my rodeo career until I was a senior in high school. I am proud to say that I am a first generation cowgirl, as well as the first in my family to graduate from college. I completed my education with two degrees, Agricultural Production Management along with my Agricultural Geospatial Technology degree!
Last week, I competed alongside seven other beautiful and very talented young women from across the United States for the prestigious title of Miss Rodeo USA 2019. We all checked into the pageant on Tuesday morning January, 15th. We started off the day with check in, orientation, and then went right into our first interview! We had three very knowledgeable and kind judges. During the pageant we also competed in platform speeches which I loved! I was able to express my platform of “The world needs all types of minds” where I talk about my brother who is autistic and how growing up with disabilities has affected my life for the better. We also had the chance to work on our public speaking skills as we gave state speeches and answered impromptu questions during the week. I personally loved my state speech as I was able to talk about the “Iowa Wave.” I spoke about the farmers wave, the Iowa Hawkeye Wave for the children's hospital, and then about the one and only rodeo queen wave. My fellow contestants all preceded to “wow” the audience with their one-of-a-kind and truly spectacular state speeches. I was so blessed to have been able to spend the week with such genuine young ladies who were all so polished!
On the second day of the pageant, we were put to the test as we spent the day competing in horsemanship. A huge thank you the one and only 5 Star Quarter horses from Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, who donated horses for the pageant and are an official sponsor of the Miss Rodeo USA Association! Myself and the other contestants were thrilled to see such an even set of horses at the pageant. We each rode in two patterns, one was a reining pattern and the other is a horsemanship pattern. Following our patterns, we had to give a flag presentation and also performed our rodeo queen wave for the judges! We each stepped off our horses to be interviewed in front of the judges where our equine knowledge was also challenged. Each one of us performed with grace and were very poised and polished during the entire event. I am glad that I was not a judge during the week, as it would have been very hard to choose just one of us to represent the International Professional Rodeo Association.
On Friday, we were all thrilled to be apart of the fashion show which was held at Broken Horn Ranch in Luther, Oklahoma. This was one of my favorite parts of the entire pageant as we not only got to showcase our idea of western fashion with everyone, but we also got to do it in one of the most beautiful locations I have ever been to! A huge thank you to a former Miss Rodeo USA, Candice Carper, for the use of her absolutely stunning venue! The other girls and I were honored to wear some of the most fun clothing that brought to life our western style from one of our wonderful sponsors, Southern Sass Boutique in Ada, Oklahoma! We were also able to show off our own ideas of fashion by wearing two of our very own outfits that we put together.
As I close out my first blog as Miss Rodeo USA 2019, I want to thank everyone who made this dream a reality and I want to invite everyone to follow along on my journey as the first ever Iowa woman to hold the prestigious title of Miss Rodeo USA. Don’t forget to follow me here on the Miss Rodeo USA website, our Facebook page, Instagram, and our Twitter page! Stay tuned for all the exciting events and announcements coming up!
Thank you again and signing off as the new Miss Rodeo USA, Heather Morrison!