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Chattooga Success Story: Emma Rae Ward

Ms. Emma Rae is a 16 year old junior at Chattooga High School. She has her sights set on a career as a communication specialist. She will pursue a degree as a Communication Specialist with a minor in agriculture business.

This article was published with permission of the Indian Lore. 

Ms. Emma Rae is a 16 year old junior at Chattooga High School. She has her sights set on a career as a communication specialist. She will pursue a degree as a Communication Specialist with a minor in agriculture business.

Emma Rae has accomplished many tasks. Currently, Emma Rae serves as the youth board secretary for the Alabama Little Britches Rodeo Association. Also, she works for the Rodeo Fame Youth Magazine and is a Smarty Young Pro team member. One of her recent accomplishments is delving into making podcasts.

For the podcasts, Emma has interviewed various rodeo stars. Along with that, she has interviewed rodeo pros at the 4th Annual Legacy of West Gala in Los Angeles. Emma Rae has completed five podcasts in total.

Her very first podcast was completed at Chattooga High School in the CTAE office. After that “application” podcast, she was flown out to Los Angeles to begin working on interviews with the pros. Emma stated, “Doing these interviews helps me understand the real side of a pro instead of what is simply shown on television.”

Continuing the interview with Emma Rae Ward, she was asked specifically about the podcasts she has completed over the past few months Emma Rae stated that the podcasts were made to build a relationship between the young rodeo stars and the professionals in the rodeo circuit. They discuss topics like what it takes to go from a young person on the rodeo circuit to being a professional, how they got their start and other topics that help to build unity among those in rodeo. The podcasts usually lasts up to thirty minutes and are set up much like a mini talk show where the interviewer asks the interviewee a series of questions or carries on a dialogue to find out about a specific topic.

Emma Rae was contacted in November by April Bach Patterson, daughter of Rodeo legend Alan Boch and the media person for the Smarty company, about auditioning for a young podcaster position. Emma Rae was chosen because of the interactions she had with those in the Smarty organization, who liked her interactions with peers and adults along with her outgoing personality and attitude.

She was asked to conduct an audition podcast/interview with Pro Team Roper and five-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) qualifier Joseph Harrison. The interview was held via Zoom in the CTAE conference room at Chattooga High School. Emma Rae stated that Mr. Harrison was so genuine and didn’t address her as a child, but just as a person who was interviewing him. He made the conversation easy – even offering her tips on how to pick a husband. After this successful podcast, Emma Rae interviewed Ryan Mote, another team roper and five-time WNFR qualifier, who is also the son of the 1977 World Champion Team Roper, David Mote. This interview proved to be more challenging, as Mr. Mote was not as outgoing as Mr. Harrison. Emma Rae had to find ways to be engaging and encourage dialogue.

After those podcasts aired, Emma Rae was invited to fly to Las Vegas for the WNFR Rodeo Championships and Gala event on December 7 – 10. Emma Rae arrived and rushed to the airport bathroom to do hair, makeup and wardrobe change to be taken to the first set of interviews. She then completed numerous interviews at the Rodeo Championship events, meeting with Rodeo stars Rhen Richards, Douglass Rich, and Jeremy Bhuler.

Then, on December 8, Emma Rae attended the Legacy of the West Rodeo Gala, an event filled with glitz, rhinestones, and lots of Rodeo stars. This event is held to raise awareness of the problem with sex trafficking and as a fundraiser for cause. The gala is a red-carpet event where the stars of rodeo gather for the recognition of the best for the year.

At this event, Emma Rae conducted interview after interview of those attending the event. She was not presented with a list of questions or topics, rather had to conduct the interviews her way. All the big names in Rodeo were there, including Jackie Crawford, Dougie Hall, and Emily Miller.

Emma Rae interviewed star after star throughout the night, conducting upward of 35 interviews. According to Emma Rae, her favorite interview of the night was with Jackie Crawford. She stated it was just an easy interview, feeling comfortable with the conversation the entire time. When asked the hardest part of it all, Emma Rae stated that the time difference was challenging as was navigating Las Vegas – the traffic was a nightmare for a small-town girl. However, she stated that nothing about the interviewing was really difficult.

Emma Rae stated, “There really wasn’t a hard part about the interviews. Talking to people is what I am best at.” Emma Rae is pursuing a
career in Agriculture Communications. She used this opportunity to network with Rodeo personalities and the companies/organizations in the rodeo circuit. Emma stated, “This opportunity allowed me to make connections. I would love to work for a company like Smarty when I graduate college. Through this opportunity, I was able to make contacts with people that may help me along my career path.” If you are interested in hearing Emma Rae’s podcasts, they are airing on Spotify.


By: Ariel Cash

CHS Indian Lore

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