Four people have been recognized for their work with rodeos in Hastings.
For the Nebraska High School Finals Rodeo, which is held each June at the Adams Co. Fairgrounds in Hastings, Neb., the annual Volunteer of the Year award went to Matt Wallin and Committee Member of the Year award was given to Patrick Niles.
For the Oregon Trail Rodeo, the PRCA event held each August at the Fairgrounds, Volunteer of the Year award went to Bobby Rust and Committee Member of the Year was awarded to Nate Allen.
Wallin, the high school rodeo volunteer of the year, has been helping with the rodeo for the past four years. He got involved through his girlfriend, Grace Woodward, another volunteer. Wallin helps with sorting livestock, setting up panels and banners, and tearing down after the event.
He enjoys the camaraderie among the rodeo workers and their common goal: produce a rodeo. “There’s something about coming together, getting the job done, and putting on a good performance. You make some good friends.”
Allen, a resident of Juniata, Neb., has volunteered with both the pro rodeo and the high school rodeo the past eight years and has been a member of the Adams Co. Agricultural Societiy for the last four and a half years.
Like Wallin, he enjoys producing an event, “with the quality of contestants we bring to Hastings, providing family entertainment that’s good, clean fun, and having a positive economic impact on the community.”
He competed as a steer wrestler for a year while in college at Northwest Missouri State University (Maryville), and served as chairman for the pro rodeo this year.
Allen is the dean of instruction for skilled and technical science programs at Central Community College in Hastings.
The 2017 Nebraska High School Finals Rodeo is tentatively set for June 15-17; the Oregon Trail Rodeo will be held August 25-26-27.
All four honorees will receive Montana Silversmith buckles and were recognized during the Adams County Leaders-Volunteers Banquet on November 6.