Mikhayla DeMott grew up on a horse and now reigns as Miss Rodeo Kansas 2018. Her mission is to teach people about agriculture and the sport of rodeo.
She isn’t your normal pageant queen. Mikhayla DeMott, Kansas State University alumna, is Miss Rodeo Kansas 2018. Saddle-up and hold on tight while looking into the roughest, toughest beauty pageant in Kansas, learning more about how Mikhayla DeMott earned her new title.
Mikhayla DeMott grew up in Rio, Illinois, and on a horse. She has been riding horses since she could walk and started competing in rodeo when she was in kindergarten. After high school graduation, DeMott decided she was interested in broadcast, so she decided to come K-State and major in agricultural communication and journalism.
Rodeo has always been in DeMott’s blood and she knew from a young age that competing in rodeo queen pageants was something she was determined to do.
“My mom was Miss Rodeo Illinois back in her day and I have always looked up to my mom,” said DeMott.
Her first competition was the Illinois Junior Rodeo Association princess pageant and she ran as a first grader and then again as a second grader. Both times DeMott came up empty handed but that didn’t stop her.
“I got really discouraged and decided queen and princess pageants weren’t for me,” said DeMott.
When she was a sophomore in high school she had a change of heart and redeemed herself, after deciding to compete for the Miss Teen Rodeo Illinois 2012 title and winning. For experience, she ran the next year and won. From then on, DeMott knew she wanted to hold a state title and shortly realized later she would be going to K-State for college and wanted to be Miss Rodeo Kansas after she graduated.
Miss Rodeo Kansas must be beautiful, personable and educated in the sport of rodeo. She must a be an expert horse rider and be willing to travel all over Kansas and the country promoting this unique sport. So, there is a lot of preparation that goes in to get ready for the pageant and DeMott did this all of it only a month’s time.
DeMott had to put a whole wardrobe together and several outfits, one of those being a lambskin leather dress, a rodeo queen tradition.
“My wardrobe eventually came together, thank goodness for friends and other connections,” she said.
DeMott is expected to know Kansas and national agriculture, rodeo current events, and to have an extensive knowledge of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. On top of all this studying, she practiced the horsemanship patterns, gave impromptu speeches and participated in mock interviews, all to prepare for the pageant.
At the start of the new year, DeMott will have many duties to fill as Miss Rodeo Kansas. She will attend all 20 to 25 PRCA rodeos in the state of Kansas, as well as traveling to other large rodeos across the country. DeMott’s main focus is to teach people about agriculture and the sport of rodeo, while representing both to the best of her ability.
DeMott says that she is looking forward to educating others about the agriculture industry the rodeo world while influencing people to think more positive about it.
“As much as I’d love to be in the arena riding, I also have an important job outside of the arena,” DeMott said. “Educating and speaking with fans and can directly affect how they view the sport of rodeo.”