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Meet the Member: JD Anderson
story by Lindsay Whelchel
Environment plays a big role in shaping anyone in life, and that is true for JD Anderson. JD grew up around ranchers. His parents had a cattle operation during his childhood, but he was also close with neighbor ranching families in South Dakota, well known in the sport of rodeo, like the Wilsons and the Lensegrav family.
“I’ve always grown up riding horses, and my dad would always put me on colts when I was little in front of all his buddies like the Lensegravs and all the Wilsons around here,” JD laughs and adds, “they pretty much taught me what I know now, because I’ve been around them my entire life, and that’s how I got into riding broncs.”
JD competes in the Northwest Ranch Cowboys Association where he’s also found a calling beyond competition as a bullfighter. He used to compete in bareback riding as well, and would do that along with saddle bronc and fight bulls all in one rodeo.
“I stay really busy,” JD admits good-naturedly. It’s apparent, he allows his sense of humor to carry him through the challenges of life and doesn’t take much to heart if it’s negative.
Besides, the positives in rodeo are plenty; from the social skills you gain meeting new people every weekend, to the NRCA being a good place for young bronc riders to be able to get on good horses.
The benefits of rodeo to a person’s life continue if you have a heart for it, JD says, and there are people who help you along the way. Like the ranching families JD grew up with, there have been many people who have helped him along in similar ways as a contestant. He credits his traveling partner Kaden Deal and Kash Deal with being part of that.
Now JD tries to return the favor in his work as a bullfighter.
“It’s a good opportunity to meet a lot of neat kids and a good opportunity to help a lot of kids out, because I watch every ride while I’m fighting, and I can pick it apart a little better than somebody that’s standing behind the chutes and not really in there to see what’s going on,” JD explains and adds, “so you can help them out, and I like helping younger kids out to be better and to better themselves in whatever they’re going to do, whether it’s riding bulls or broncs, or they don’t even have to rodeo for me to help them get better. It makes my day when I get to help somebody else. If they take what I said, and they use it, it makes me feel real good.”
Outside of rodeo, JD lives in Dupree, S.D. and is busy ranching as it’s now calving season, but you can bet he’s in good spirits.