“I really have a strong passion for educating others about rodeo, and its great Western heritage.”
Miss Rodeo Kansas 2018 Mikhayla DeMott emphasized objective of her reign traveling the state on behalf of the sport.
“Rodeo has changed, been progressive, yet retained the very traditional values on which our forefathers built this country,” Queen DeMott declared.
“While promoting this great sport, I intend to share those values which have always remained strong in rodeo cowboys and cowgirls,” she said.
With a lifetime and continuing close involvement in all aspects of rodeo, DeMott was crowned climax of the 54th annual Miss Rodeo Kansas Pageant.
Miss Rodeo Kansas 2017 Hannah Neuenschwander bestowed the tiara and sash as highlight of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.
Stringent competition before a panel of three judges tested queen contestants in six categories.
DeMott, 22, Manhattan, won four of those divisions: speech, modeling, horsemanship, rodeo knowledge, and tied in photogenic.
First runner-up to the queen is Brook Wallace, New Cambria, who topped the pageant promotion division while tying for photogenic.
Sharon McLachlan, Pittsburg, was named second runner-up to Miss Rodeo Kansas.
Jaylinn Pfeifer, Ellis, was crowned Miss Teen Rodeo Kansas 2018 at that pageant also during the rodeo.
Active rodeo contestant, Pfeifer topped congeniality, photogenic, speech modeling and horsemanship divisions.
Winning the rodeo knowledge competition, Emmie Noyes, Linwood, was first runner-up Miss Teen Rodeo Kansas 2018. Pepper Kay Splechter, Wichita, was second runner-up.
Originally from Rio, Illinois, DeMott moved to Kansas four years ago to attend Kansas State University.
“My family has ties to the state, and K-State offered unique opportunities for me in rodeo and for my career,” DeMott said.
On the KSU Rodeo Team in National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association rodeos, DeMott also served as the K-State Rodeo Club president.
Studying agriculture communications, emphasis in broadcast journalism, DeMott graduated this spring. Working in the economics department while a student, she’s now employed by the KSU Department of Communications and Agricultural Education.
Prolific writing agriculture news for the university, DeMott has been an occasional guest host for “That’s My Farm” television program two years.
“I’ve been competing in rodeos ever since I was in kindergarten,” she said.
Barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, team roping and goat tying, DeMott qualified for the junior high and high school national finals rodeos.
“I also competed in high school cutting and qualified for nationals my last two years,” the cowgirl added.
Participating in a junior rodeo pageant at an early age, queen competitions got in DeMott’s blood. She served as Miss Teen Rodeo Illinois 2012-13.
“But, I hadn’t been in any pageants since high school until the Miss Rodeo Kansas competition.”
On the K-State Rodeo Team barrel racing all four years, DeMott served two terms as the club president. “I’ve been the rodeo club’s Ag Student Council and Sport Club Council representative this past year,” she added.
“Participation in the Miss Rodeo Kansas pageant has always been on my agenda,” DeMott admitted. “With school, rodeo and work, there wasn’t time to serve the way I wanted to until now.”
Longtime impressed with rodeo commentators, DeMott decided on a career in broadcast journalism. “I hope to become a spokesperson for all of rodeo and agriculture.
“Serving as host for the farm and ranch television program was actually my first broadcasting experience,” DeMott said. “I really love it.”
Again, the queen emphasized, “I have such a passion for educating young people about rodeo and all things agriculture.”
As the state’s rodeo queen, DeMott said, “It’s a large platform to serve as a role model for the sport.”
An all-around cowgirl, DeMott has competed in nearly every equine competition.
“However, I’m ‘horseless’ now,” she said. “I’ve had several outstanding horses throughout my rodeo career. I’m looking to acquire a new ‘project’ horse.”
With reign officially in the new year, DeMott anticipates riding horses owned by rodeo contractors. “They’ll help me further develop my horsemanship skills,” she claimed.
Queen duties will keep DeMott booked as she’s already getting appearance requests. “I want to go to as many rodeos as possible and other agriculture related activities,” she said.
Advancing media studies, DeMott said, “I plan to pursue a master’s degree, but I don’t want a career in academia.”
Having conducted rodeo and horsemanship camps, the queen looks to teaching more such activities. “It’s so important that the youth as well as adults learn how to handle horses more correctly and positively,” she said
Admitting rodeo has struggles, DeMott said, “Communities and committees are the backbone of rodeos. I want to help them and everybody involved in this great sport.”
Looking ahead, Kansas Rodeo Queen 2018 Mikhayla DeMott will be Kansas’ candidate for Miss Rodeo America. “I’m going to this year’s pageant at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas to get better prepared,” she said.