April: Focusing on Work and the Kickoff of Midwest Rodeos! May 1, 2017 by Katelin Bradley, MRW 2017I did not do much traveling in the beginning of April. Staying closer to home gave me time to catch up on work. I work fulltime as a Nutrient Management and GPS technician with AgSource Laboratories. Working in the agricultural industry has really deepened my appreciation for all that Wisconsin farmers provide. I have travelled all across the state conducting field work. Wisconsin is the leading producer of cheese, cranberries, ginseng, and other vegetable crops, so I get to work with a variety of different farms. I could not be more proud to work directly with Wisconsin growers. With preparations for planting and the summer months complete, I spent three days at the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison, Wisconsin. I watched clinicians from around the country, including one of my favorite barrel racers Dena Kirkpatrick, demonstrate their skills and offer training advice. I also met with friends, did some shopping, and signed autographs at the booth of one of my biggest sponsors – UW Veterinary Care. It was great to mingle with horsemen and women from across a wide spectrum of disciplines. On Friday night of the Midwest Horse Fair, Barnes PRCA Rodeo brought some of their best stock to the Alliant Energy Center colosseum for Wisconsin’s first PRCA rodeo of the 2017 season. I was able to carry the American flag on one of their beautiful palominos for the opening ceremony. It was a humbling experience to display our country’s banner before thousands of rodeo fans. When the fireworks went off, the horse I was riding got a little nervous, but we galloped out of the arena in fine fashion. Miss Wisconsin High School Rodeo, Kelsey Hallin, and I chased back calves during the performance. It was a great rodeo to be a part of. The following weekend I headed out to St. Paul for the Minnesota Horse Expo and Rodeo. Miss Rodeo Minnesota, Courtney Otto, invited me to join her at this event. We signed autographs at the Mall of America and at the expo grounds. We also rode in grand entry and chased back calves and steers during the three rodeo performances. It was great to work with everyone at Barnes PRCA Rodeo again. Even if it was cold and windy the entire weekend, we had a great time!