Sarah Steffl's 2018 Miss Rodeo Minnesota Coronation—Saturday, Jan. 27, 4:30 p.m., New Ulm Conference Center

This summer, Sarah Steffl of Sleepy Eye, was announced as Miss Rodeo Minnesota 2018. She’s spent the last several months learning about her position and visiting several rodeos—including the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. Next December, Sarah will again go to Las Vegas, this time to compete in the Miss Rodeo America program during the Nationals Final Rodeo.

Steffl, a 2013 graduate of New Ulm Cathedral, is the daughter of Dan and Lisa Steffl of Sleepy Eye. She said she learned about the Miss Rodeo competition while in middle school, and heard about it again as a high school student and at rodeos. The idea of entering intrigued her.

“My parents were very surprised when I said I wanted to compete for Miss Rodeo Minneota,” said Steffl. “I am a tomboy, not girly at all. I have always been very shy—not one to seek attention.”

Steffl entered the Miss Rodeo Minnesota competition in 2016 and finished as runner-up. That was a learning experience. “I didn’t even know how to do my hair and make-up,” she joked. She decided to work on the skills she would need and try it again in 2017. Contestants are judged on horsemanship, personality and public speaking. “I spent lots of time studying about the competition, working on my speaking skills, and even learning how to use hairspray—lots of hairspray!” she said.

Her preparation paid off and now Steffl will be crowned Miss Rodeo Minnesota on Saturday, Jan. 27 in New Ulm. She will receive her crown, which rests upon her cowboy hat, and also celebrate with a dinner, dance and silent auction. The event also serves as a fundraiser to help meet her expenses as she travels the country representing Minnesota at rodeos and competing for Miss Rodeo America.

“I’ve grown so much during this process,” said Steffl. “I am very comfortable with public speaking now and look forward to appearing at rodeos.” She expects to put on about 20,000 miles in her role as Miss Rodeo Minnesota, traveling to rodeos in Minnesota (14 on her calendar already) and also, just to name a few off the top of her head—Colorado, Florida, Texas, Wyoming, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Oregon.

Steffl said at rodeos she will often get time on a horse—sometimes she will run the flag in the opening ceremony, or maybe help push cattle out of the arena. She will also make public appearances and do interviews with local media. After all the preparation, she is ready to enjoy her year.

Steffl is currently living in rural Sleepy Eye and working at Divine Providence Community Home. She feels fortunate to be able to schedule work around her Miss Rodeo travels. She is also a student at SDSU, taking courses online, majoring in Natural Resources with an emphasis on law enforcement. Steffl plans to have a career as a park ranger or game warden.

Last summer, Steffl told the Herald-Dispatch, “I love everything about the western way of life and am very excited to represent Minnesota with the title of Miss Rodeo Minnesota 2018. I am super excited—I have been working at this for two years and can’t wait to travel to some of the country’s biggest rodeos and represent the state of Minnesota.”

Now, her adventure begins and we wish her the best in 2018.