Miss Rodeo Nebraska Oliver receives crown
CURTIS, Neb. — A lifelong dream for a Sandhills cowgirl is coming true. Eva Oliver, a Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture Aggie, received her crown and official title as Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2019 on Jan. 5 at the Cherry County Fairgrounds in Valentine.
Oliver graduated in May, 2018, from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis with an associate of science degree in veterinary technology. While studying at NCTA, Oliver was busy with her vet tech classes but most enjoyed the ranch horse program and opportunities to ride horses. A month after her graduation in May, during a statewide rodeo queen contest 45 miles north of her college campus, the Aggie alumna not only won the horsemanship competition but the overall title to be Miss Rodeo Nebraska Lady-in-Waiting. The achievement was a young cowgirl’s dream for the daughter of Chuck and Stacie Oliver. She had spent the first two decades of her life on a Nebraska Sandhills ranch south of Merriman. She grew up riding horses and enjoying the great outdoors east of Gordon, in neighboring Cherry County which boasts more cows than humans in the vast ranching territory of north central Nebraska. Chuck Oliver taught his daughter the skill of maneuvering teams of draft horses at Shadbolt Cattle Company where he’s managed rangeland and cowherds for 30 years. While in junior and senior high schools, Oliver was active in athletics at Cody-Kilgore Rural High School. Her summers were spent in the hay fields, working at the ranch, or traveling with friends to rodeos and queen contests.
The princess-turned-queen has represented the sport of rodeo throughout Nebraska, she said, thanks to support from her family, neighbors and good friends like Buck and Joan Buckles of rural Gordon. Among her teen titles was princess at the Old West Trail Rodeo in Crawford in 2013. Then, in her home territory, she became Miss Rodeo Cherry County. Later, in 2017, at Nebraska’s Big Rodeo, one of the oldest rodeos in the nation, she became Miss Burwell Rodeo. That was just before her second year studying veterinary technology at NCTA in Curtis, located in southwestern Nebraska. After her Miss Rodeo Nebraska duties are complete, Oliver hopes to take her national exam and become a licensed veterinary technician like her mother. She enjoyed her NCTA internship in Ogallala and appreciates the area of Nebraska within a few hour’s drive home. This summer, between events and travels, Oliver helped out at Shadbolt Cattle Company and occasionally for Hyannis Veterinary Services. Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2019 knows her next year will entail much travel, rodeo and public appearances where she can represent rodeo while encouraging young people to pursue their education and dreams.
Al and Mary Knapp inducted into Gelbvieh Hall of Fame
Al and Mary Knapp of Basehor, Kan., were inducted into the American Gelbvieh Association Hall of Fame for 2019. The induction took place during the awards banquet at the 48th Annual AGA National Convention in Nashville, Tenn. Dustin Aherin, Phillipsburg, Kan., presented the award to the Knapp family. He expressed his sincere gratitude towards the couple on behalf of his family and the numerous other individuals throughout the country whose lives have been positively influenced by the Knapps. The AGA Hall of Fame recognizes individuals for their lasting contribution to the growth and development of the Gelbvieh breed. Hall of fame inductee selection criterion includes contributions to breed promotion efforts, leadership provided to the association and the breeding of superior genetics that are of great influence within the Gelbvieh and Balancer cattle population. Over the past 22 years the Knapps have had a tremendous impact on the AGA and more importantly, the people within it. While running a successful Gelbvieh operation the Knapps served 16 years as American Gelbvieh Junior Association advisers. Al has served on the AGA board of directors, and served as AGA president in 2010, In addition, the Knapps currently serve on the American Gelbvieh Foundation board of directors, with Al serving as AGF president. Al and Mary Knapp take service-centered leadership to a whole new level and their passion for fellow breeders and the association’s youth is the standard of the breed. Both the AGA and AGJA are improved associations because of the relentless efforts and sacrifices of the Knapps. ❖