Aaron Ferguson has been dreaming about yellow chutes for a long time. They’ve been the backdrop on his phone and his computer for the past […]
2014 Miss Rodeo South Dakota – Melynda Rose Sletten
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Melynda Rose Sletten, 24, from Pierpont, SD, is the 2014 Miss Rodeo South Dakota. She came in first runner up last year and decided to give it another shot. “I don’t want to live with regret,” said the licensed cosmetologist who grew up in a town of less than 100 people. “My parents moved a church from Langford to Pierpont SD – and remodeled it into a house,” she said. Melynda spent her free time completing various 4-H projects. “I did everything from building flower beds to refinishing furniture to painting and drawing. I showed everything from cattle to horses to chickens to cats and dogs. 4-H taught me a array of responsibility. I was in 4-H rodeo, and active in a variety of sports in high school. My summers were really full.” She held two jobs her senior year in high school – at a nursing home as a house keeper and dietary aid and she worked as a receptionist in a salon to see if that’s what she wanted to pursue. “I work with the public every day, and it’s really easy for me to talk to people and I’ve been through a lot in my life, and I know how to work since I’ve worked all my life.” She works now as a licensed cosmetologist in Aberdeen and helps out one day a week at the Aberdeen Livestock Sales Co. penning cattle in the back with her horse. “Working in the back is my freedom and brings back memories of working on a ranch,” she said.
Her life behind the chair and at the sale barn will be on hold for the coming year. “I’ve always worked, so this is the opportunity to put my work on hold and travel and get to have this journey of a lifetime,” she said. “This is going to open up endless opportunities for me.” Melynda has the upper edge on the hair and skin secrets with her studies in college. Her secret is hair extensions and PCA chemical peels – which she is certified in. “There is nothing better than making people feel good about themselves, it builds there confidence .”
She decided four years ago to pursue becoming a queen. “It was during a 4H rodeo and I watched my friends Courtney Peterson, Krystal Carlasico, Kristina Maddocks and MacKenzie Haley. I grew up around it, but didn’t know if it was right for me. One day I decided I wanted to try so I borrowed all of my cousin’s clothes. Nothing fit quite right, but I ran and got my first title as Miss Foothills Rodeo in South Dakota.” She went on to become Miss Rodeo Aberdeen. Through her titles, she has been to the Black Hills Stock Show for the past two years. “This year I’ll go as Miss Rodeo South Dakota and it’s the biggest honer to me. I watched all my friends do it and it’s surreal that I’m doing it this year.” She started her reign with the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colo. After Rapid City, she will head to Florida for the Silver Spurs Rodeo. “We stay at a host home and do school visits and go to the rodeos, and then we go Wild Hog hunting – and of course I get to get out of South Dakota’s cold weather.”
She thinks the program set up for the Miss Rodeo South Dakota is the best program. “If it wasn’t for the girls ahead of me, I wouldn’t be doing this. All the past queens are willing to help you out. In turn, I will be the role model for the young girls coming up behind me. You can count on somebody to give you support. The Miss Rodeo South Dakota contest is similar to what the candidates go through in Vegas. We stay at a host home, with no cell phones, and ride horses we’ve never been on before for the contest.” Her biggest support through the entire process has been her family – mother, Brenda; dad, Lynn; brother, Tanner (20), and sister Megan (Ulrich) (26).