No Spare Moment

Landing face-down in the dirt, Kade Pitchford had just shot over the horns of a steer in the middle of a rodeo competition. “I stood up, and could feel something poking me,” he says. “I remember thinking ‘What is that?’” After running over to the sideline, he saw what it was. His humorous bone was visibly sticking out of his bicep muscle. “I was mainly worried I wouldn’t be able to compete,” says Kade. “It was my freshman year, and our team had two or three more rodeos until the college national finals. I was doing really well in two events and was disappointed I wouldn’t be able to continue.”

Although Kade was unable to continue competing his freshman year, he has since competed in the college national finals each subsequent year in both calf roping and team roping and has had incredible success in both competition and academics.

When Kade was growing up in Idaho, his father always encouraged his children to get experience in multiple areas. From a young age, Kade worked in his cousin’s construction company. He strived for good grades and played basketball, but rodeo was always his true passion. “There are so many variables in rodeo,” he explains. “In roping, you’re dealing with a calf or a steer, and then you’ve got your own horse. It’s a challenge, but it makes the victories a lot sweeter.”

While serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kade received an email from his brother. Accomplished at rodeo himself, Kade’s brother had a scholarship to Idaho State. In his email, Kade’s brother told him he was thinking of transferring to UVU and asked if Kade would like to join him. “At the time, I had no idea what I wanted to do,” says Kade. “But it felt right.”

With the help of a scholarship, Kade was able to compete alongside his brother and is now a senior in the construction management program. He has also started working as a surveyor for Geneva Rock. “I’ve helped on projects working to extend the Mountain View Corridor, a pipeline job in Spanish Fork, and improving Redwood Road and Bangerter Highway,” he explains. “I originally started as a business management major, but I love the chance construction management gives to get out and do some fieldwork.”

Kade hopes to one day run his own company, and his time in the rodeo program has given him the perfect preparation. “There’s no spare moment in the Rodeo program,” he says. “It’s a tough schedule, but it’s taught me to work hard and to know what my priorities are. With that in mind, I’ve seen a lot of success at work and a lot of success in competition.”