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Meet the Member Teresa Brevik
story by Lindsay King
The smile in Teresa Brevik’s voice is just a small physical symbol of the pure joy she has found in life – both inside and out of the arena. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I was born and raised in rodeo,” said the New Mexico native from Farmington. “I entered my first rodeo when I was eight years old and I won the breakaway that night. I was hooked after that.” A brother and parents who loved rodeo as much as Teresa planted the seeds that sunk deep roots and have yet to let loose. “My dad cowboyed a lot while I was growing up. We always helped neighbors bring herds down off the mountain for branding, so we did a lot of cowboying too.”
Teresa’s dad owned a construction company and her mom helped run it. Teresa and her brother helped the family business pour concrete and frame houses on their summer breaks. Together, the entire family put in long hard days only to turn around and practice their events even harder. “I am blessed my parents let us work that hard and then rodeo just as hard. My dad taught us really strong horsemanship skills and then sent us to people who roped really well. Because of that my brother and I were able to make some really good horses and are both pretty good ropers.” The hard work quickly paid huge dividends for Teresa when she got both an academic and rodeo scholarship to Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas.
The breakaway and team roper said she never made it to nationals, but that region of the state helped take her game to the next level. “Those four years in Texas made me the roper that I am today.” The self-proclaimed “nerd cowgirl” earned a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in exercise and sports studies. She also graduated with honors. This was in 2009. “I have always loved the body and how it works, especially the heart. I just followed that and then a senior project steered me in a new direction.” The project dealt with the water system of the college town and Teresa unknowingly knocked it out of the park. “I didn’t realize how broad a biology degree is, but I am doing exactly what I went to school for.”
As a project manager for Jacob’s Engineering, Teresa works with the water filtration system both into and out of the city as well as all the pipes in between. “My fiancé (Lonnie Garcia) owns a business, it’s the same sort of thing but for rural New Mexico. We run that business together and I also work for Jacobs. It is a great fit.” Teresa and Lonnie were married in August and a more perfect match would be impossible to find. “I think my dad hand picked him from heaven to make sure I was going to be ok.” Teresa used to team rope with her dad all the time before he passed away. She spent a handful of summers hitting the rodeo trail hard with her brother and still recalls it is as some of the best rodeoing they ever did. As the NMRA revs back up, those times might be replaced by home state rodeos in the future.
“I have been in the NMRA on and off since high school and I was asked to be a director last year. I figured it was finally time that I could do that volunteer type of position and it give it my all.” Teresa has seen the inner workings of a rodeo while helping her mom chair the largest NMRA event in the state, but the director experience is a touch different. “We have a good group on the board and it is a lot of fun to learn how to be a good director.” As the NMRA is seeking more members, it is getting creative. “Thinking outside of the box is the best way to describe it. The rodeos are coming to different towns and the mentality of the whole association is different. We are making a presence in the state again.”