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Letter from the Director


ith the arrival of 2021, we have chosen to add an additional piece to our publication. We want to share what we believe in life, in careers and what we intend to accomplish each month we release a new edition.

Since this is the first time we are including this, let us start with our vision. Our magazine was designed with the intent of sharing stories and information about the people, places, events and things which make the rural lifestyle so fascinating. I bet very few of you know, but every person on our team has a connection to the rural life. Some grew up on cattle ranches, others on farms and a few have deep roots in the horse world. We all have one thing in common: We believe the one essential in this world is the farmer/rancher. As a child, I was always told, “Everything in this world traces back to a farmer or rancher.” In today’s world, we believe this has been forgotten. The fact is we should honor, cherish and support the people who make so much possible for all of us. That’s what we plan to do. We will tell the stories of people and things which make rural life amazing. We will spend time talking about the activities and sports nearly every rural being enjoys. We will do this through photos, the written word and opportunities for our young. We even hope to reach urban folks and help them learn what it is that makes this world tick and how even they should pay tribute. We welcome all of you to Ranch, Rodeo & Agriculture Magazine. Every day we strive to be better and we want you to help us along the way. We encourage input and suggestions and we hope you will share your stories about rural life with us! Let us all make this year and future years the best we can! Work hard, respect each other and the land and enjoy the good things in life! ---Phillip Kitts


An Amazing Transformation by Pat Sovern....................................................01 Love (Mental Health) by Mandy Whipple........................................................07 KIDS CORNER - Going to my Grandparents Farm by Hallie Wallace.......13 Oklahoma City Cattle Show by Sarah Loomis.................................................19 RECIPE - The “Not a Fish Fan’s Fish Feast” by Phillip Kitts.....................23 Marty Welter Rodeo Photographer by Mark Reamer..............................33


Director- Phillip Kitts Finance/Logistics- Heidi Kitts Design- Steve Gray Operations- Kyndall Hill Social Media Director- Emma Miller Vice Director- Madison Kitts Editor- Betty Simpson Social Media Strategist- Tessa Jirack


Mandy Whipple Mark Reamer Pat Sovern Phillip Kitts Sarah Loomis

Photographers Steve Gray Phillip Kitts Isaac Hale Renee Deal Colleen McIntyre

Photo by Renee Deal Cover design by Steve Gray



have written about many inspiring veterans this past year, but no one has had the journey to become a patriot quite like Remi Adeleke. I saw him on The Protectors podcast and was amazed at what he shared. His story is something right out of fiction, much like the character T’Challa in Black Panther. Aderemi Adeleke went from being Nigerian royalty to a Navy SEAL.

Remi was born in 1982 in Nigeria. His father, Chief Adebayo Adeleke, was the descendent of Yoruba royal lineage. Adebayo legally changed his first name to John out of appreciation for the Christian missionaries who educated and enlightened him. Remi’s mother, Pauline, was born and raised in New York. Pauline met John at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art (MOMA). She married John and moved to Africa. John was an intelligent engineer and wealthy businessman who served on several boards. One was the New York

World Trade Center. During the 1970s, his status was unheard of given his skin color. He dreamed of improving the lives of the poor in his beloved country and was fighting a corrupt government to build a small island in a lagoon for land development. After his father began to experience problems, Remi’s mother decided to return to the United States in 1987 to protect Remi and his brother, Bayo. Shortly after their move, Remi’s father unexpectedly died. All of his money was invested in the development which the government stopped and took control of, leaving the family penniless. Pauline took a job as a teacher in the South Bronx and worked extra jobs to support her two young boys. She introduced Remi to art and taught him how to write quality reports. Remi fell in love with hip-hop music and movies. He realized he didn’t have to follow the path of most young, poor, black men who worked menial jobs or became drug dealers. He saw music as his way out, but he began to steal and sell drugs to accumulate money. At the age of 19, he formed his own record company, 8th Wonder Records. His dream went down the drain after months of unsuccessful attempts to secure a label deal. 1


Adeleke, Remi. Transformed: A Navy SEAL’s Unlikely Journey from the Throne of Africa, to the Streets of the Bronx, to Defying all Odds. Thomas Nelson Publishing, 2021. https://foxbusiness.com/features/navy-seals-transformative-life-from-drug-dealer-to-hollywood-actor https://people.com/human-interest/how-troubled-teen-became-navy-seal-author/



During this time, he had watched a Michael Bay move, The Rock. He had never heard of the Navy SEALS before. The idea of becoming a SEAL intrigued him, but he put it aside to pursue his record company idea. After losing the company, and having his life threatened by a deal gone bad, Remi was unsure what to do next. One day, he heard a voice tell him to join the military. He remembered he wanted to be a SEAL and went to a recruiter’s office. As fate would have it, he met Petty Officer Tiana Reyes who helped him get into the Navy. Her belief in him saying he was “full of potential and could make a difference despite his mistakes,” was instrumental in putting him on the right course to a better life. On July 2, 2002, Remi Adeleke joined the Navy and was sent to the Great Lakes Recruiting Training Command in North Chicago. “I went from the streets of the Bronx to Navy boot camp all in one day,” he said. He trained to be a medical specialist, or corpsman as they are called in the Navy. After graduating boot camp, he was sent to the Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton in California. Within his first days at the hospital, he was served a piece of humble pie by his commanding officer. He was making mistakes and realized he needed to step up his game if he wanted to become a Navy SEAL. The first step he had to take was learning how to swim. He requested to have his schedule changed so he could train at the base pool. His hard work paid off! In January 2004, he left for SEAL training in Coronado, CA. He promised his Aunt Dokey he would “be someone special” and did everything he could to fulfill that vow. Because of his lack of swimming experience and negative reaction to cold, Remi had to work even harder to pass Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL School, known as BUD/S. Most grunts would have rung the bell and left the training if they endured what Remi did. His determination wouldn’t let him quit. Whenever he heard the ding, ding, ding of the bell, it only fueled him to keep fighting for his dream. He nearly died when he developed a swimming-induced pulmonary edema (SIPE). SIPE is a condition where fluid from the blood leaks into the lung. He was medically rolled to repeat the training with the next group, 251. Remi had to start BUD/S all over again at square one. He was able to crush all the tests except the last swim of the First Phase. He was double rolled back to class 253 and given three months to learn to swim. Finally, he passed Hell Week with the group and began the second phase of training. It appeared he was on his way, but due to his own unpreparedness, he failed swim tests nearly drowning during one. He was dropped from SEAL training and ordered to reenter the general Navy. In April 2005, he was sent to Camp Horno to train with a Marine platoon as a corpsman. The following year, his platoon was deployed to Camp Buehring in northwestern Kuwait. It was there he reconnected with a buddy from Camp Pendleton who impressed him with his calm manner. Remi admitted he wasn’t very religious, but wanted to know what kept his friend so calm. He learned about meditation. Call it luck or fate, that friend became his command career counselor who helped him apply for BUD/S again. At the age of 25, he knew it was his last shot at becoming a SEAL. Defying all odds, Remi graduated from BUD/S in 2008. Only 29 of 270 graduated. Remi reflected on his experience and said, “Sometimes you have to go through the chaos to get to the beauty.” He admits his own mistakes made his career path and love life difficult. He was deployed to Camp Mercury in Iraq where he worked intelligence for the SEALs taking down top terrorists in the area. Most SEALs avoid intelligence because of the detailed writing involved in completing reports, but Remi felt he was a good fit due to his mother’s persistence in teaching him to write well. 3


After his first deployment, he met Jessica in an online dating site. They married in 2011. They had two boys, Cayden and Caleb. He decided to end his military contract in 2016 to be home more and raise his sons. He and Jessica had a third son, Carter, and recently a daughter, Ciana. Before leaving the military in 2013, he received a call from a woman who provided on-set military consulting for Michael Bay films. Her husband was a former SEAL and found Remi’s name through the Navy SEAL Veteran Network. She asked him to do a scene for the TV show, The Last Ship. He was reluctant at first, but agreed. Megan called Remi back in 2016 to see if he would work on another Michael Bay film, Transformers: The Last Knight. He agreed. The film was released in 2017 and was the beginning of his acting career. Ever since, Remi has been busy doing ads for Jockey, the clothing company, and making guest appearances. He made an appearance on The Today Show, where host Kathy Lee Gifford encouraged him to write a book. She felt his story would inspire many others. He wrote Transformed: A Navy SEAL’s Unlikely Journey from the Throne of Africa, to the Streets of the Bronx, to Defying All Odds, which was published in 2019. During his deployment, Remi was asked to provide spiritual support to his unit. His gift for speaking and his faith continued in his life. He travels speaking at church events and as a motivational speaker for corporations. He enrolled in college and now holds a BS in organizational leadership and an MS in strategic leadership. Remi is currently a professional writer. He does consulting on film projects and writes for a production company. He recently became a member of the Writers Guild of America which is very difficult to accomplish. I asked Remi how his mom and Aunt Dokey are doing. He said they are doing well. His aunt will be 103 years old this year! He mentioned he is getting ready to work on a big movie. Remi keeps pushing forward on new projects and continues to be a positive role model with his inspiring words on his social media sites. “I want people to know my story and realize they can transform too,” he said. “They can get through it all and succeed.”



LOVE (Mental Health) by Many Whipple


ove is dirty. It is messy. It is wonderful, scary, painful, spectacular and any other set of contradictions one can think of. I have yet to meet an individual who has said love would be easy. Why else would the Bible have so many verses on love and offering advice on how to love correctly even during adversity?

As ranchers, farmers and others in agriculture, our lives are lived differently than those from the city, even down to the ways we love. There aren’t generally large gestures. It is the everyday little things which count. We still open doors, say “sir” and “ma’am,” and make sure the kids and critters are fed before we feed ourselves. We spend our days fixing, mending and working our tails off to ensure the world will eat. We have church clothes and work clothes. Many days, those are one and the same. We understand the heifer needs help calving and everything stops to get that done. Farm comes first. Why? Because we love our critters. We love our kids and we love our way of life. With all the hustle in our daily lives, the love we show our spouses sometimes gets lost. I mean, do we even know how our spouse likes to be loved? Are we loving them how they need need? Are we meeting their needs? Are they meeting ours? What’s the answer? Take a walk on the wild side and learn about the five love languages and what they can bring to your relationships. I promise you will not regret it! Everyone has a dominant love language and a sub-language or two. This love language is oftentimes different from one’s spouse’s. If you learn what your spouse’s love language is, and they learn yours, even on those rough days, weeks and months we all experience, you can fulfill each other’s need for love in ways you may never have thought of before. The 5 Love Languages are as follows: Words of Affirmation Acts of Service Receiving Gifts Quality Time Physical Touch Truly understanding what your spouse or significant other needs can be a life-changing event for a relationship. We all think we know, but do we really? Feelings can be so hard to express in words, especially when one does not know how. This last year has been especially hard on many in the ranch, rodeo and agricultural communities. I encourage everyone to surprise their special someone with the book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. Even if you already have a wonderful relationship, it can always be improved. Take the quiz, read the short book and watch the transformation in your relationships (Chapman). Chapman, Gary. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, Reprint ed., Northfield Publishing, 2015





photo by Colleen Mcintyre

Kids Corner


Going to my Grandparents’ Farm written by 6-year old Hallie Wallace


y name is Hallie Wallace. I am 6-years old and from Sidney, Iowa. I do not currently live on a farm, but my Gi and Pa do. Their farm is in Baymer, Missouri. My Pa raises Angus cattle, row crops and hay. I have my own cow, Minnie. We named her Minnie because she has a white ring around her left ear. My sister, Morgan, also has a cow as well. Her name is Star because she has a white mark on her face. Since we live 2.5 hours away from my grandparents, we only get to the farm once or twice a month. One of my favorite things to do is load up in the Ranger and go with my cousin, Becca, to check cows, her show heifers and the baby pigs. My cousin has three show heifers: Rose, Autumn and Pumpkin. I got to show Rose as a calf last year in a Pee Wee show at the Braymer Livestock Show. I received a medal. I have shown pigs since I was 4 in the Pee Wee show as well. My favorite part of showing at the livestock show is washing them, getting them ready and walking into the show ring. I can’t wait to show Autumn this year all by myself. She is a Shorthorn heifer. Not only do I get to work with pigs and cows, I am taking horse riding lessons too. I enjoy horse riding lessons because I have learned how to brush a horse, lead a horse and how to control my balance when riding a horse. I am excited to learn how to ride in a saddle. My goal this year is to be able to ride a horse instead of Queeny, the pony. When I grow up, I want to be a teacher and teach my students about agriculture.

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Brought to you by Midway Equestrian and Stable Care

opqrstuvwxyz February 2021 RANCH, RODEO & AGRICULTURE


Oklahoma City Cattle Show


by Sarah Loomis

he blowers are starting up again. Casual conversations between long-distanced friends are being heard. Finally, a cattle show during uncertain times. Oklahoma City, OK, held one of the largest shows in place of the canceled National Denver and Fort Worth stock shows for exhibitors to showcase breeding bulls and females as well as prospect cattle. The breeds in attendance were Angus, Brahman, Braunvieh, Charolais, Chianina, Hereford, Maine-Anjou, Miniature Hereford, Simmental, Shorthorn and crossbred cattle. The first ever Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Congress was created by a board of directors which included CEO of Express Ranches Jarrold Callahan, Onward Foundation President Tyler Norvell, Oklahoma Youth Expo (OYE) Board Chairman Bob Funk, Sr., OYE Board Vice Chairman Jimmy Harrel, COO of the American Hereford Association Shane Bedwell, Director of Events and Education for the American Angus Association Jaclyn Upperman and Executive Vice President for the American Main Anjou Association Blake Nelson. Staff operating the show were Tyler Norvell, OYE Executive Vice President Kass Newell, OYE Vice President of Operations Bray Haven, OYE Vice President of Communications J.D. Rosman, OYE Director of Livestock Colton Kersey and consultant Erin Dorsey. With more than 11,000 head of all breeds entered and 22 sales in conjunction with the show, there was no doubt all of the space at the fairgrounds would be used January 2-17. Within the 900,000 square feet among multiple barns, plus the herd bull display area, everyone maintained a social distance and wore masks to help decrease the spread of COVID-19. Eva Hinrichsen, of Westmoreland, KS, who operates Hinrichsen Ranch, attended the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Congress. Her family ranch focuses on Angus cattle. They enjoy participating in livestock events to network with others while showcasing the genetics behind the animals which makes them unique. “It’s just neat to go to a show and see all your hard work that you’ve done at home pay off, whether it starts with the breeding decisions or how you care for the livestock. I mean, it’s not all about show cattle,” Hinrichsen says. But livestock is not the only aspect of this show. The famous trade show in Denver, CO, most likely grew legs and ran south. Businesses from all over came to display their products in hopes of gaining sales and connections. The Oklahoma City area also features other venues and restaurants providing alternative attractions.



Photo: Eva Hinrichsen and her brother, Cale, at their stall at the Oklahoma Cattleman’s Classic.





The “Not a Fish Fan’s Fish Feast” by Phillip Kitts


he story behind this meal is humorous. Over the past few months, we have paid attention to trying to eat healthy meals and time out our days better. It is often suggested to add more fish to one’s diet, but part of our household is just not much into eating fish. Thus, the challenge was on the table: Find a fish recipe that was healthy, but not fishy! Well, we may not have smashed it out of the park on the healthy part, but we found something that just might stick around our meal plan for awhile. Here’s how this came about. Among a million internet searches, we found a lot of suggestions to incorporate halibut, but with thousands to choose from, how do we decide? Something about “Almond Crusted Halibut” jumped out when we read it, but it just seemed like it needed a little more, so we put our twist on it and the meal was spectacular! Shop We chose to get a full halibut filet, but this can easily be done with a few steaks. The price was a little steep, but we were able to cut the filet into several steaks and have some future meals in the freezer. Halibut Filet Stick of butter, softened Garlic Lemon Italian seasoning Salt & pepper Cayenne Honey Roasted almonds Wild rice Asparagus Bacon The great part of this recipe is the prep is rather easy since the whole meal is quick to prepare. Step 1 Prepare rice according to packaging directions. Most wild rice takes awhile to cook, so time this for the rice to be in its last phase during final prep. Preheat the oven to 400-degrees. A lesson learned the hard way, take the stick of butter out of the fridge early and let it soften while you do the first couple of stages of prep. We are blessed to have a food processor, so we put the almonds in to chop into a fine dust. This can also be accomplished by putting the nuts into a couple of Ziploc bags (one to hold the nuts, the second to contain the mess!), then use a rolling pin or mallet and go to town. Yes, this technique is good therapy, but not the most efficient. Step 2 Once the nuts are chopped, prep the asparagus by cutting off the ends. Wrap two pieces of asparagus tightly with bacon. Once wrapped, season with pepper and a small dash of cayenne. We put these on a small rack over a baking tray to allow for draining and a nice, even cook. These can be placed in the oven while the rest of the prep is done. Step 3



In a food processor or bowl, whip the butter until smooth. Add a small dash of Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic and lemon. Whip this mix until exceptionally smooth in texture. Step 4 Pat halibut steaks dry with a paper towel and generously coat with butter mixture. Once well-coated, sprinkle tops with almond dust. In our experience, at this point, the asparagus is nearing the end of its cook time, so the fish can be put right into the oven with it. The fish only takes about 10 minutes to cook. This keeps it from drying out but cooks it thoroughly. After 10 minutes, the veggies and halibut come out of the oven to rest a few minutes. By now the rice should be ready. Time to plate up and enjoy a great meal!!



AUG. 11-14


Sunrise over Utah Mountains photo by Steve Gray

Westcliffe Stampede Rodeo 2020

-photo by Phillip Kitts

Marty Welter


Marty was about 12 when a family friend started teaching him the basics of photography. That’s when it all started. At 16, he discovered an explorer scout group met at a nearby fire station in the Chicago suburb of Elmhurst where he grew up. He was soon a member focusing on the opportunities to study fire and accident scene forensics. About the same time, he started doing a little newspaper stringing to make extra cash. The early photography training, exposure to forensics and familiarity with the world of journalism all converged in his photography. As far as rodeo is concerned, he didn’t have the traditional exposure many who grew up around it would, but he had always enjoyed it as his family regularly went to local events when he was growing up. It was merely a casual experience though. He was in the stands, one face in the crowd of spectators. He wasn’t a “rodeo guy.” That would come later. He had just moved to Green Bay, WI, in 1992. While getting to know his new neighbors, he discovered one was a PRCA bullfighter. It actually was none other than “Chief ” Todd Propson who claimed his nickname by virtue of being a member of the local Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe. It was Todd’s rookie year on the circuit and, by year’s end, he would be named the PRCA Rookie Bullfighter of the Year for 1992. They quickly became friends and, one day, Todd invited Marty to an event where he got to experience the world of rodeo from the inside. He was hooked. It was only natural he should combine his knowledge and passion of photography with his newly discovered passion for rodeo. Rodeo photography drew Marty for the same reasons it draws so many others: the excitement and variety. Capturing the action in different arenas under constantly changing light conditions, from full sun to overcast and threatening to the bright lights of a night event, all require different strategies and techniques. Bulls move differently from saddle broncs which move differently from barebacks. The action of different events takes place in different areas of the arena. All factors need to be considered when preparing the shot. He soon discovered he had a lot to learn if he was going to be a good rodeo photographer. Anyone can stand in the arena or on a fence and snap a photo. There’s a little more to being a rodeo photographer; a good one anyway. He had to learn rodeo. He didn’t have to learn to sit a bull of course, or be able to last 8 seconds on a saddle bronc. He didn’t even need to be able to throw a rope or turn a pony around a barrel. He did need to know how it was done though, why it was done and what made a particular run special. He had to be ready and in the proper place when the crucial moment was approaching or had arrived. Rodeo is not a slow-moving sport. Those moments pass in the blink of an eye. The trick is knowing when not to blink. One of those moments happened in 2009 at the Wisconsin River Pro Rodeo, at Merrill, during the bareback riding event. There were a lot of good rides that night as well as a few bad ones. Some riders were on their game, others weren’t. Some of the horses were filled with fire while others went through the routine. Even on an average night though, something spectacular or tragic can happen between the ticks of the second hand on a watch. It did that night. Josh Chase was riding 475 Carson City from Dakota West Rodeo that night. Two or three jumps into the ride, the horse stumbled. It rolled head to tail and right back onto its feet with Josh still firmly on its back. Horse and rider were both fine. During that brief moment, Marty was able to get 12 shots of the tumble manually (he doesn’t use the auto roll). The ride was made famous when the PRCA published a double trunk series of six of the photos in the PSN. 33


Another such moment ended in something far more important than a great photo. It was during the Prairie duChein Pro Rodeo, also in Wisconsin. The arena was a temporary facility with the earth just having been turned for the occasion. For one reason or another, the grounds were still a little slick that year. There had been some minor incidents due to this during the rodeo, but nothing serious. Not until the trick riding anyway. Marty was in the center of the arena capturing the stunts during the exhibition of equestrian skill. Trick rider, Penny Walton, was making her ride. Just as she was coming up to Marty, she slipped into the stunt known as the “Indian Death Drag.” Penny and her pony were right in front of Marty when the horse slipped. The pony went down landing right on top of Penny who was still in her stunt position. The horse started to thrash. Nobody was closer to the incident than Marty. He rushed forward and lay himself across the horse’s neck to keep it still and calm until others could reach the scene and release Penny from her mount. Both escaped the incident without serious injury. He didn’t get any photos of that, of course, but that was okay. Marty was in the right place at the right time during those incidents because, by then, he not only understood photography, but rodeo. He knew where and when the action was likely to occur. He knew the difference between shooting a bareback ride, a steer roping or a trick riding event. When that brief moment in time arrived, he was ready. For nearly a quarter of a century, Marty has honed his craft. He has been one of the official photographers for the Great Lakes Circuit Rodeo on and off for the past 23 years. He received his gold card in the PRCA in 2017, but he’s not finished yet. He’s still perfecting his craft, still creating adrenaline-pumping shots and still chasing that next split-second in time which will freeze the blood and make the viewer catch their breath. It’s coming. You just have to know where to be and be ready for it. Whatever you do, don’t blink! If you would like to view or purchase any of Marty’s photos, please visit http://www.rodeoflicks.com.



-photo by Renee Deal

Ice Fishing at Strawberry Reservoir, Utah. This reservoir is home to kokanee salmon, cutthroat and rainbow trout. -photo by Steve Gray

Mouth of Provo Canyon, Utah at sunset. -photo by Isaac Hale

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