Did you know that the month of March has a total of 744 hours in its 31-day span? By the time the end of March rolls around, it will officially have been 75 days and 1,800 hours since the day I was crowned Miss Rodeo USA. You know what the best part about that is? All 1,800 hours will have been spent loving on our sponsors, patrons, attending and working rodeos, setting up and attending meetings, signing hundreds of tear-sheets for rodeo fans across the U.S., setting and making Miss Rodeo USA history, and the best part, meeting new friends and rodeo family members along the way!
For the past 12 days, I have spent some of the best hours and minutes of my life promoting and advocating for the sport that I love and the Miss Rodeo USA Association. Not to mention, I have been extremely blessed with the opportunity to catch new dreams and invest in those of others.
On Friday March 4th, everything shifted in to 6th gear! I started the day off with meeting Alabama’s Governor, Kay Ivey, followed by a visit to the Alabama Cattleman’s “Moo-seum,” a brief lunch with my mom and then I turned the truck north-west and headed to Ozark, AR. Upon arrival, I began preparations for what was going to turn in to a phenomenal week of meetings. That Saturday, I was blessed to be asked to sing the National Anthem for the Ozark Chamber of Commerce 75th Annual Awards Banquet and was later asked by Congressman Bozeman and Congressman Tom Cotton’s representative if I would be interested in making a trip to Washington D.C. later in the year. (Insert your own amazing response here.) Obviously, the answer was yes and things continued to just get better and better.
Upon leaving Arkansas, I traveled on in to Claremore, OK where I had the chance to visit with some more of our amazing sponsors, swing back down through Muskogee to visit with and pick up my aunt, surprise my mom at the Will Rogers International Airport in Oklahoma City, and finally wrapping a four day stay up with a first time ever invitation to present the colors and help run sponsor flags at the Cinch Timed Event Championships! Did I mention, Reba McEntire’s sister, Susie McEntire, sang the National Anthem the final night I carried ole glory in to the arena? Woooo talk about chills and an honor!
Today as we travel back to Alabama and I reflect on these “moments” in time, I’m reminded of how important a “moment” is to someone. A moment that two little girls will remember for a lifetime when Miss Rodeo USA stopped by on the rail after they flagged her down to just say hi and ask my name, to the older gentlemen and legendary cowboys who stopped me, after running frantically to get a hotdog, just to say hello and asked if I could wave to them on my lap around the arena, to finally presenting Erich Rogers with his first ever Cinch Timed Event World Championship check alongside some of the biggest names in the rodeo business… Folks, a moment matters. People matter and most importantly, you matter. You matter to those around you who have vested interest in seeing you succeed. Others may attempt to dim your light or even try to put it out, but remember, your dreams and your moments matter. So take the remaining 432 hours of March and invest in something that matters to others. You’ll be amazed at how God will use your talents and gifts to enrich and bless others!
Until we meet on the trail again,
Jessie Lynn Nichols
Miss Rodeo USA 2022