COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Jerry Shepherd, who serves as an all-purpose member of the Ute Stampede Rodeo in Nephi, Utah, has been selected as the PRCA’s 2018 John Justin Committeeman of the Year.
“This is quite the deal to be recognized with this honor,” said Shepherd, 36. “I can’t believe that so many people thought that much of what I did. I really appreciate this. To have people think that much of me to just nominate me for this was a surprise, and to be able to receive the award is special. I can see at least five guys on this committee that deserve this more than me. They work their butts off, and this honor, I believe, is noticing more of what we do as a rodeo committee rather than just me.”
The 2018 Ute Stampede Rodeo was July 12-14.
Shepherd, who qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2004 as a bull rider, has been a member of the Ute Stampede Rodeo committee for three years.
“Since I joined the committee I have tried to do whatever is needed to help, but I do like focusing on the production of the rodeo,” Shepherd said. “I like being around the chutes and keeping stuff going that way. I got into it to make the rodeo better for the cowboys. I entered that rodeo during my whole career and it was good, but every rodeo can be better.”
Justin Boots created the John Justin Standard of the West program to recognize the hundreds of thousands of hours of work that volunteer rodeo committee members around the country donate to put on their local rodeos. Each year Justin Boots recognizes 125 outstanding volunteers from PRCA rodeos around the country through its John Justin Standard of the West program. PRCA rodeos annually vote on the single individual to receive the PRCA’s Justin Committeeman of the Year Award, whose dedication represents the deeds of those thousands of volunteers.
Chris Memmott, the chairman of the Ute Stampede, was thrilled for Shepherd.
“Jerry gives a different view than we have ever had, and he’s more a cowboy liaison to our show,” Memmott said. “He has helped us a ton, and he’s done a great job. What he brought to our committee is an attention to detail with how you set up your prize money and what things we need to do to make our show attractive to the cowboys going down the road.”
Shepherd, who finished ninth in the 2004 world standings, acknowledged joining the rodeo committee gave him a different perspective.
“It was a big eye-opener, seeing the other side of things,” Shepherd said. “It has been a learning experience for me. I went there with the attitude that I knew about rodeo, but I had no idea how much work goes into putting on a rodeo. But, it has helped me a bunch coming from being a contestant at the rodeo and letting our committee know how the cowboys feel and what the cowboys think that needs to happen as far as putting on the rodeo. That input I believe has made our rodeo better and this has been a lot of fun.”
Shepherd resides in Nephi and works for Intermountain Health Care. He and his wife, Jenna, have three children, 10-year-old twins, boy, Jhet, and girl, Karsen, and daughter, Waycee, 2.
“I’m going to keep working with the Ute Stampede Rodeo, so we can keep making the rodeo better and better,” Shepherd said.