Meet the Member Emily Finney
story by Lindsay Humphrey Last summer, Emily changed her last name from Vinton to Finney when she married Doug. It was a match made at […]
story by Lindsay Humphrey
Calf roping, both breakaway and tie down, are just second nature for Jim Buss and his family. “My greatest accomplishment in life is my family. I’m pretty proud of my wife (Sharlene) and those kids. We do a lot of things together,” said the M-SRA 45 & Over Calf Roping Director. Jim, Sharlene and their kids–Jade, 20, Cale, 14, Cort, 13, and 10-year-old fraternal twins Brett and Reed–work hard on the family ranch together near Atkinson, Nebraska. “All the kids are active in rodeo and we all rope together.” That’s exactly how Jim grew up, roping with his dad.
“My dad always worked on ranches around Ogallala and Arthur when I was a kid. I grew up on the back of a horse. He was always going to rodeos when I was little, and I went with him.” Jim entered his first rodeo when he was seven and has kept at it ever since. He rodeoed in high school and then nabbed a rodeo scholarship for Chadron State College. When Jim came home after college, Billy O’Connor became his hauling partner before striking out on his own. “I met my wife in about 1990 and then we started traveling together quite a bit.”
This third-generation cowboy is a calf roper to the bone, but he was also a bull dogger in high school and college. He still team ropes on occasion with his kids. The commercial Angus herd takes up a lot of Jim’s time, but he’s still an avid member of the M-SRA. He’s also busy hauling his kids to rodeos; effectively molding the fourth generation of rodeo competitors in the Buss family. In the upcoming M-SRA season, Jim will be hauling soon-to-be 15-year-old Cale to rope in the 45 & Over Calf Roping. “My goal is to pack Cale around and season him this summer. He ropes so well at home that he just needs to enter. I just want to enjoy the summer with him; they’re only young once.”
Luckily, most M-SRA events are fairly close to Jim’s central Nebraska location. He doesn’t usually have to drive more than 75 miles in any direction. A member of both the M-SRA and NSRA since 1988, Jim’s seen his fair share of the countryside from behind a steering wheel. He’s also been a regular for both association finals, primarily in the calf roping, but he’s also made appearances in the team roping. “I won the calf roping in the M-SRA in 1992 and again in 1998.” Jim made the NSRA finals every year from 1988 to 2009 and he served as a director for quite a while. Now he spends most of him time with the M-SRA.
“The last time I made the finals in the open calf roping was probably 2010. I quite going for a couple of years and then I turned 45 and I started up again.” Jim’s made the M-SRA finals for the last five years, winning the average at the finals in 2018. “I’ve been a member of the M-SRA for a long time, but this  was my first time as a director. I’ve always thought of it as a way to give back. When you’ve been a contestant in an organization for as long as I have, eventually you need to start giving back to it.” Jim’s position as a director gave him a front-row seat to the decisions made surrounding COVID restrictions. “It really screwed some things up. It limited the number of rodeos we could go to. We had to make some decisions to make our bottom line come together. I wouldn’t say it added pressure, but it certainly brought us closer together than what maybe the directors have been in the past.” Despite decreased added money at the rodeos carrying on through 2020, Jim was pleased that contestants continued to enter anyways. “The contestants really pulled together. Everybody went anywhere they could, and they were just happy to go somewhere. Hopefully it will be a little different deal this spring.”
Rodeo Newstm (ISSN 1934-5224) is published 12 times a year, semi-monthly May-Nov; once in Dec Jan, Feb., March, and April by Publication Printers, 2001 S. Platte River Drive, Denver, Colo., 80223. Iris Ink, Inc., parent company of Rodeo News is located at 3604 WCR 54G, Laporte, Colo., 80535. Subscriptions are $30 per year. Periodicals postage paid at LaPorte, Colo., and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Rodeo News, PO Box 842, LaPorte, Colo., 80535.
Canada Post (CPC) publication #40798037. Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without permission. Rodeo News carries advertising and editorials as a service to the readers. However, publication of advertisements and editorials in Rodeo News does not commit Rodeo News to agree with or guarantee any of the merchandise or livestock advertised.