Few individuals unwaveringly work to accomplish goals they’ve eagerly anticipated their whole lives. Lorryn Bolte, CAFNR alum, is one young woman who seizes opportunities, sets goals, and attains them. She has seen the world as “Study Abroad Queen” and reigns as Miss Missouri Rodeo 2013.
Bolte grew up in Bowling Green, Mo., home to a small agricultural community of 5,000 residents. Her childhood was spent on an “Old Macdonald’s Farm” along with her older brother and parents Mike and Karen Bolte. Her farm was also home to a variety of animals including: cattle, pigs, horses, chickens, dogs and rabbits.
Growing up, Bolte was heavily involved in 4-H, The National FFA Organization and livestock showing. Bolte’s family nurtured her passion for rodeo by accompanying her to rodeos as a child. Her hobbies include trapshooting, hunting, soccer, rugby and Cardinal Baseball. Everyday motivation stems from rising daily at 6 a.m. to carry out chores because the livestock depends on her to survive.
Bolte recently graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences and a double minor in international agriculture and agriculture business. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison during the summer of 2011 and completed a short course program in poultry science.
During her freshman year of college international opportunities were presented to Bolte and exploring the world became another strong passion. This became an obsession for studying abroad within CAFNR. At the age of 21, Bolte had traveled to five countries including New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Germany and Thailand.
“I wish I could’ve done all of the study abroad programs, if you really want to know”, Bolte said.
During these travels, Bolte’s life perspective was altered. After visiting Brazil for agricultural systems management, she discovered that material objects Americans take for granted are limited luxuries in many cities throughout the world. Shortly after arriving, Bolte discovered that Brazil lacked an efficient sewer system. All sewage was stored in large ditches, so when it rained everyone had to walk through the overflow.
“Their houses are made out of cardboard and whatever they could find,” Bolte said. “That’s half of the city.”
Studying abroad caused Bolte to realize the financial realities within a majority of the world’s population. This past fall, Bolte traveled to Thailand for four weeks where she broke free from traditional midwestern culture. Students who see the world through study abroad take traditional college courses, while also progressively acting upon the world’s pending environmental issues.
One such issue is coral population lost within our oceans. Bolte dedicated her time to helping with this issue by working in an underwater nursery with fellow scuba certified students. For the majority of the trip, students participated in coral clippings to preserve and extend the coral population. Bolte also discovered Thailand’s food sanitation was not satisfactory after she noticed that food venders often left meat hanging from rods throughout an entire day.
“It makes me really realize how lucky we are here,” Bolte said. “The cleanliness, the sanitation, our food is safe.”
Based on a student’s focus and additional interests, CAFNR Study Abroad Programs offer a variety of experiences to fit every individual’s needs. Bolte recommends traveling to Belgium for political science writing intensive courses, and participating in the South Africa program for animal science. After freshman year, Bolte was interested in becoming a college-level agriculture teacher. She had the opportunity to make her goal a reality as the teaching assistant for the equine breeding management class over the past three years at MU. This required breeding mares and delivering foals at the equine research facility.
“I loved it,” Bolte said. “I absolutely loved it. I loved working with the kids. I got to share my knowledge, but I also got to learn at the same time.”
Bolte’s multi-tasking ability exceeded everyone’s expectations when she ran for Miss Rodeo Missouri 2013.
“I’ve always been a rodeo fan. My family has gone to rodeo events all my life, since I was little,” Bolte said.
Growing up, Bolte admired the former rodeo queens and even practiced barrel raced during her high school career. Family support was a strong motivator in order for Bolte to pursue her goal of becoming a rodeo queen.
“Midway through junior year, I said I kind of want to try and see if I can be Missouri State Queen,” Bolte said. “Last year I decided we’re going for this.”
Preparation for Miss Rodeo Missouri 2013 involved writing a two-minute speech about Missouri, taking a written exam, conducting a personal interview, a rodeo interview and horsemanship. The written exam contained a mixture of general rodeo knowledge. Four other women participated in the pageant alongside Bolte, competing in four different categories. These categories were horsemanship, pushing cattle, riding abilities and freestyle. The greatest challenge for Bolte was finding time to study for the written exam and saddle backing.
“Not only are you holding onto a bucking horse, you have one saddle and one hand to hold onto the reigns with,” said Bolte. “You can’t touch the animal with the other hand.”
After excelling in each category, Bolte won the crown of Miss Missouri Rodeo 2013 and went on to travel with Miss Teen Rodeo Missouri, Chritsy McCullough and Junior Miss Rodeo Missouri, Sierra Gatz, to rodeos across the Midwest. This title has paved the way for future endeavors for Bolte, like raising money for St. Jude’s foundation and inspiring young women to be passionate about the professional sport of rodeo.
“To me, rodeo is a passion, a hobby, it’s something that I love,” Bolte said. “I love the family atmosphere. It’s very American. It makes you think about your heritage and where you come from.”
Bolte currently works at Novus International in St. Charles, Mo., as human resources product coordinator. She would like to obtain her masters and doctorate in meat science nutrition and livestock nutrition Ultimately, Bolte hopes to become an Animal Nutritionist professor, and she is considering applying to Vet School. With Bolte’s track record, there is no doubt that this well-rounded and hardworking woman will accomplish any challenge she’s presented with.
“You have to take one day at a time,” Bolte said. “The hardest thing for me is that I try to look at the big picture, what I have planned down the road, but it’s something that you have to take day by day. You never know what tomorrow’s going to bring. Plans change. I’ve learned, as a college student, that everything is irreplaceable and plans change every day. Just roll with the punches.”