“This is the first time in a couple of years that we’ve had Heartland at Hanover Ag, so we’re super excited to have them back!

Brenda Levesque, sponsorship coordinator with Hanover Ag, speaks for the entire community of Grunthal when she says that hosting this event means the world to them.

“Oh, it means so much to us,” she shares. “We have our bull riding during the year, but there’s so much more to rodeo than just bull riding. So being able to host this and have all the athletes come out, give them a place to practice the sport, and do what they do best, it really means a lot to us. We want the sport of rodeo to keep growing, so providing a venue for events like this is really important.”

The partnership between Heartland Rodeo and the Hanover Agricultural Society is a strong one, where both parties benefit greatly. On one side, Heartland Rodeo organizers know their event will be well-organized and well-attended. And, on the Hanover Ag’s side, they not only get to support the sport of rodeo but also to draw people into their community.

“You know, it’s a small town, but we have a lot going on in Grunthal,” Levesque boasts. “We have a lot of businesses- a lot of them are our sponsors. And anyone who comes to town to watch the events also visits these businesses. So it’s a big boost both economically and socially to the town. It gives us a way to show off our town to people who normally may not be coming to Grunthal on a weekend in September, whereas now they’re coming to the rodeo, they’ll check out a restaurant, fill up on gas, stop at the bakery on their way out. We get support from all these businesses, but also in the sense we bring people to town to support them as well.”

Another invaluable advantage of having the rodeo so close to home is educating children and teenagers.

“Of course, they get to see the animals, which they love. But they also get to see a sport that’s not as accessible as it would be if we didn’t host the event.” Levesque continues. “You can go to the arena and watch hockey anytime, but it’s not every day that you get to have something like barrel racing come and be right in your backyard. It gives the little ones exposure to the different events and gives them something else to be interested in. Being able to foster the next generation is really important to us.”

Affordability and a family-friendly feel are important factors of the Rodeo, as the Hanover Agricultural Society hopes to continue hosting these events for decades to come. Thus, children

eight and under get in free to both the rodeo and the Saturday night banquet, and admission for the rodeo for attendants ages nine and up is only $15.

Rodeo events for this year include bull riding, team roping, steer wrestling, peewee barrel racing, and saddle bronc. Guests are also welcome to attend the Heartland Rodeo Awards Banquet and Dance on Saturday evening at 6:30 PM at Sarto Hall. The meal is fully catered, with the dance at 8:00 PM featuring music with Byron Falk and the Half-Time Cowboys.

The Heartland Rodeo, September 16th and 17th at the Hanover Ag Exhibition Park in Grunthal. Doors open at noon, with the show starting at 1:00 PM. For more information, visit www.hanoverag.com.