The Voice of the NILE: Douglas Van Dyken
October 8, 2015
Greetings to you all, old friends and friends to be. My name is Douglas Van Dyken and it is my pleasure to make your acquaintance. I have been recently honored to be selected as the Voice of the NILE stock show for 2015. Please allow me to introduce myself and share with you a bit of my background.
I was born in Bozeman, Montana and was raised on a small hay, grain, and cow outfit about twenty miles west of town. As far back as I can remember I have had a love for and an appreciation of all things cowboy. Be it a-foot or a-horseback my favorite times growing up were those days when cow work was involved.
Unfortunately, my father did not share my passion for beeves but rather found his fulfillment in packing handline irrigation pipe back and forth across the place for hours on end every day morning and night from May through September. I recall one morning as the days first light was showing itself and we were again heading out to endure the misery that was irrigation of 40 years ago, driving past the cattle quietly grazing I asked my Dad why he so disliked the cattle part of the operation that I so enjoyed, "Because they're a pain in the ass" he replied. It was at that moment that I came to the realization that my father and I had polar opposite opinions on what qualified as a pain in one's backside.
After high school I made the decision to broaden my horizons so I attended college for two years on Chicago's south side. As we all know, in it's infancy, Chicago was a hub of the cattle industry, but in the time that I spent there I was able to find only small artifacts of that era and therefore returned to Big Sky Country.
Although being back in Montana and being once again around the beef industry was a wonderful sensation, I found that cowboy work, with its joys and tortures was a difficult way to make a living. I began supplementing my income with other jobs and found myself going to some amateur rodeos and jackpot team ropings to at least partially satisfy my hunger for the cowboys life.
On June 9, 2009 in a moment of sheer stupidity I had an accident in the practice arena that sidelined me from the roping game. Not willing to leave behind completely what I so dearly loved, I began announcing team ropings and have been actively doing so for the past six and a half years for Wrangler Team Roping Championships.
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In the spring of this year I received a call from the NILE office asking if I would be willing and able to commit to being the voice of the livestock shows for 2015. Flattered, I eagerly accepted. I look forward to a wonderful relationship with the NILE and hope to play a small part in the growing, thriving, and exciting beef cattle industry.