Micah Barnes of Peterson was crowned 2023 Miss Iowa Rodeo at a ceremony last weekend in Fort Madison.
Micah is the daughter of Marty Barnes and Kendall Barnes and an Alta-Aurelia High School and Buena Vista University graduate. Marty is owner/operator of Barnes PRCA Rodeo Company of Cherokee and Peterson.
Micah Barnes and fellow contestant Ashlyn Nelson of Quimby competed in a horsemanship contest late Saturday afternoon and a speech contest and fashion show on Sunday, when judges named Barnes the champion.
Barnes won the horsemanship contest, the Bob Britton Speech Award, the Larry Roberts Spirit Award and the Congeniality Award. She also scored the highest on the written test given to contestants.
Miss Rodeo Iowa 2022 Emma Bair will complete her term by competing at the national Miss Rodeo USA pageant in January. After that, Barnes takes over the duties of touring and promoting rodeo — something Barnes says she is eager to do, particularly among those who are less familiar with the sport.
“Being the third generation of a rodeo stock contracting family, I see the importance of sharing my rodeo knowledge and experiences throughout Iowa and beyond,” said Barnes. “In order to maintain and grow the legacy of rodeo, Miss Rodeo Iowa is responsible for promoting rodeo to those not yet familiar with rodeo. Some do not attend because they are skeptics who have misconceptions regarding animal treatment. Others have never been exposed to rodeo.”
Barnes aims to change those misconceptions. She said she plans to use her experience with rodeo as well as her education, which include a bachelors degree in biology from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake and a master’s degree in agricultural education from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis, Calif., to cultivate new rodeo fans and participants.
“I have personally seen the value of school visits, ranch field trips, and community meet and greets to expand the reach of rodeo,” adds Barnes. “I would like to continue these activities and work with rodeo committees, stock contractors and communities to seek and implement more opportunities to expand the recognition of Iowa and the rodeo industry.
“Whether as a rodeo competitor or local titleholder, I know that I am a better person thanks to all those who have come before me and stood by me along the way. In all that I do, I want to be a role model and pay it forward to the younger generations.”
Barnes and Bair, along with Miss Teen Rodeo Iowa, Madison Stief of Cherokee, will be making the rounds at pre-rodeo events and future PRCA events across the state.