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Meet the Member Randy Ritterbush
story by Siri Stevens
Randy Ritterbush has been the rodeo committee representative for Mid-States Rodeo Association for four years. “My job is to attend meetings and represent the best interest and concerns and ‘attaboys’ from the rodeo committees that are first-approved Mid-States rodeos,” said the 61 year old from Norfolk, Nebraska. “Our competitors can go to five states to rodeo between all the rodeos that Mid-States sanctions – somewhere around 53 total, and more than half of those are first approved.”
He enjoys watching the contestants. “It’s rewarding to me to know that our association has lined up dates so these folks can go from Friday through Sunday to rodeos if that’s the way they want to run. They have a chance to make more money. Our association is very lucky in that our contestants don’t take the committees for granted. They thank our committees for taking the time to do the rodeo and they appreciate the work that goes into it. It’s a wonderful feeling.” He uses email and the phone to keep abreast of what’s going on with the committees. “You can’t keep people happy all the time, but now that I’ve been the rep for so long, it’s easier to keep the lines of communication open with all of them.”
Randy was a competitor 30 years ago for both Mid-States and Nebraska State Rodeo Association, competing a total of eight years. “It didn’t take me long to learn that at 6’3” gravity didn’t lend itself to rough stock riding and the money I won at the timed event end didn’t cover the expenses,” he said. “I had three kids with another on the way and decided to concentrate my efforts on my job and my family.” Randy’s job as a respiratory therapist, a job he has had for 35 years, is very rewarding. “You see end of life and you see people recover, it’s the kids we see that keep me going every day. They come in with all kinds of problems and I get to watch them get better.”
At 61, he is looking forward to retiring, and plans to continue the work he does as a volunteer. “When you do 12 hour shifts, you get four days off, and I do a lot of things with nonprofits, Lions Club, my Fair Board, and the rodeo association – you don’t make a dime – but the time spent is rewarding.” He also does woodworking, and can make anything his wife Karen asks him to. She is a nurse manager and has 48 employees and the couple tries to make each of them something each Christmas. The couple keeps busy with their six grandchildren, ranging in age from 23 to 6.