July 14, 2015
Senior Animal Science major Bryce Dibbern was recently elected student president of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. The Association consists of 11 regions across the country working together to preserve western heritage through collegiate rodeo. The UNL Rodeo Association, which Dibbern is president of, is a member of the Great Plains Region. Today there are over 100 college rodeos per year with more than 3,500 student members and 137 member schools. Dibbern recently spoke with IANR News about rodeo and his time at UNL.
How did you get started with rodeo?
I did not grow up around rodeo as a kid, however I was raised on a farm and ranch. When I was 4 or 5 my parents got me a black pony that I ran wild on everywhere. From that point on I knew I wanted to be a cowboy and rodeo. It wasn’t until I was in sixth grade that I finally got to enter the steer riding in a rodeo. I believe my parents thought I might get some dirt in my teeth and not want to continue after that, but it backfired and I ended up winning my first rodeo I ever entered. I have been hooked ever since.
What do you want to accomplish as student president of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association?
I plan to be a positive image and advocate for college rodeo and present the benefits that student athletes can gain from participating within the Association. I want college rodeo to be portrayed as one of the best college sports in the nation. I also have started a program within our own Great Plains Region that involves multiple college rodeo athletes talking to elementary students about rodeo’s connection to agriculture and the importance agriculture plays in our everyday lives. We have spoken to over 2000 students in 10 rodeos across 5 different states this past year in our region alone, but I plan to help make this a national program.
Why did you decide to come to UNL?
I decided to come to UNL because I knew it is one of the best agricultural based universities in the nation. I know a lot of very successful people who attended UNL and I want to set myself up for success within the ag industry. Looking back I feel I made a great decision and encourage everyone to look and UNL for their education.
What is your favorite part about attending UNL?
My favorite part is all the opportunities that are present here at UNL. There is an endless number of connections to be made, and it seems like almost everyone in CASNR has a passion for agriculture and they strive to make the world a better place.
What are your goals for the future?
I have a strong passion for agriculture and I plan to remain an advocate for the ag industry. I am interning with Cargill Ag Horizons right now doing farm marketing, and it has been a great experience working for a company that plays such a major role in feeding the worlds growing population. I plan to stay heavily involved in rodeo and be a part of our family farm and ranch back home in Riverdale.