Miss Rodeo Wyoming readies for pageant

(Photo taken from Morgan Wallace's Facebook page) Wallace poses on Prexy's Pasture while her horse grazes. She is passionate about ending domestic violence and educating communities about Wyoming life and rodeo.

Morgan Wallace is a young woman from Mead, Colorado. She is majoring in agricultural communications at the University of Wyoming and she would like to be an agricultural lawyer after she graduates. She loves country music and shoots rifles competitively. Wallace seems to be just a normal girl, getting through college and finding her place in the world, but this year is special for her.

Being around the culture from a young age, Wallace loved the rodeo.  Though never participating in any traditional events, her and her family showed horses regularly. Her father was also closely involved with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

This year she has been crowned Miss Rodeo Wyoming. Oct. 7, Wallace was coronated the sixty-second queen of the pageant.

Don’t let the word pageant fool you; the Miss Rodeo Wyoming contest is a tough event that takes months of study and practice. Contestants are tested on various subjects and must master public speaking if they have a chance to make it past the other contestants.

Wallace has proven her knowledge of Wyoming history, Wyoming government, rodeo rules and regulations, as well as different topics relating to the environment to beat out her four other competitors.

So she had to work hard, but is it just another pageant where you just get a prize and a pretty crown?

No, it is much more than that. Being Miss Rodeo Wyoming, Wallace is a spokeswoman for the rodeo community. She is a role model to women of all ages around Wyoming. Winning this pageant is not about the money or the glamour for Wallace.

“It’s one of the biggest goals I’ve had in my entire life. Being able to achieve that goal is one of my greatest accomplishments and just being able to celebrate that with my family and friends on the fourteenth means a lot,” Wallace said.

Most people, after winning a contest of this magnitude would be a little relieved, however, Wallace just seems hungry for more.

After traveling to 15 different states to teach communities about Wyoming life and rodeo history, she will be on the grind again to compete in the Miss Rodeo America pageant next year.

Wallace said, “If I could win this pageant it would be more special for me because the very first Miss Rodeo Wyoming, coroneted in 1955, went on to become the First Miss Rodeo America.”

When speaking to Wallace, she told me about some of the social issues around Wyoming that she is hoping to confront. She told me that domestic violence is a big issue in the community that needs to be discussed.

To do this, she is teaming up with the No More campaign on campus as well as the Breaking Through: 2017-2022 initiative.

No More seeks to raise public awareness to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

Breaking Through calls for the University of Wyoming to become a more important contributor to the economy as well as the society.

And to really bring the message home, retired Major General Susan Pamerleau is presenting as the keynote speaker for the awareness event being held Saturday at 5:00 p.m. in the Gateway Center located at UW. Pamerleau was the first woman to command the Air Force ROTC program and is a strong advocate against domestic violence.

Wallace will be attending the event Saturday to show her support for the social issue of domestic violence.

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