Midlands Rodeo and Ag Expo Gets Younger Generations Involved

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Newberry community welcomed hundreds from across the state to spectate and compete at this year’s Newberry Rodeo.

Competitors on Friday were high-school-aged children competing for scholarship money, including Jacob Helms.

Helms says he wants to pursue rodeoing professionally and believes it can help others his age pursue their dreams.

“It teaches kids a lot, like responsibility and having horses, and having to take care of them and stuff like that, so I think it’s good for them,” Helms said.

Although several teens competing want to pursue rodeo careers, high schoolers like Addi Hunter do not see themselves riding this out. 

“I want to be a nurse so I want to go to nursing school. I don’t think I’ll college rodeo,” Hunter said.

However, she says she still sees how it can show others a career in agriculture.

Julie Coates with the Ag Expo has worked in agriculture for years. She hopes the rodeo will help with “roping in” the next generation.

“I think it’s important that they are exposed to the agricultural side because that is where your food comes from, where your clothing comes from, it’s where a lot comes from,” Coates explained, “I think that some of that is lost on our younger generation now because everything is so accessible and you don’t see where it comes from.”

Students from Newberry County who compete in this year’s rodeo are eligible for a $500 scholarship to give them a head start as they ride into their next ring.

The rodeo will be happening again on Saturday night. Gates open at 6 p.m., and the rodeo starts at 8 p.m.

Source : WLTX


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